2020 English Adaptive Surfing Open

The 2020 English Adaptive Surfing Open took place on October 3rd at The Wave, Bristol. We were stoked to have four athletes representing Wales: Ethan Jolosa, Katie Richards, Llywelyn Sponge Williams, and Isaac Heaher. We headed up to support them, as well as run the water safety for the event.

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Penguin Recruitment Charity Quiz

The team here at Surfability UK CIC are delighted to announce the return of the annual Penguin Recruitment Charity Quiz. After the huge success of last years quiz which raised funds for rehabilitation and surf therapy for people with acquired brain injuries, this year’s event promises to be even bigger and better!  Set to be hosted in a tent in the Mumbles very own Castle Fields, the evening assures an animated atmosphere with a quiz lively enough to test even your biggest trivia buff.

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The Sea in Spring

With beautiful spring blooms, tree boughs bursting with blossom and baby lambs bouncing all around us, the joys of spring have well and truly arrived on land.

Meanwhile though, let’s not forget that a spring time flurry is also unfolding under the sea.

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Caswell Disability Changing Place

Caswell Bay is not only the proud home of Surfability UK CIC, the UK’s first fully inclusive and adaptive surf school, it is soon to be the first Gower beach to have a disability changing place. And the team here at Surfability UK CIC HQ could not be more delighted about this news.

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Swansea Sports Awards 2018

The team here at Surfability UK CIC have no doubt in our minds about what an epic year 2018 was for Surfability, our coaches and our participants. From personal victories in the water to growth in confidence and fitness, the successes of 2018 have been numerous.

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UNILAD Goodness

Check out this epic and beautiful documentary from UNILAD.

Featuring Surfability U.K. CIC and some of our inspirational participants, this instalment of UNILAD Goodness (here) is unadulterated, feel-good gold.

Return of Seeking Saltwater

As the lively summer season for Surfability UK CIC is drawing to a close, activities for the team here at HQ are starting to return to business as usual. Happily for our little Surfability Blog, the turning of the season brings with it the return of Seeking Saltwater. In this week’s blog, we’ll be learning about whelks.

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Donations!

After many, many requests for the Surfability UK CIC website to start accepting donations; we are pleased to finally announce the introduction of our donation button. Our web development team are working towards the opening of Surfability UK website shop where you can purchase our merchandise and make larger donations. Our donation button is open for anyone wishing to make their contribution in the interim.

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Happy Birthday Surfability!

As Surfability U.K. CIC celebrates its 5th birthday today, the team here at the Surfability Headquarters are reflecting on the incredible journey Ben and all of his participants, volunteers and supporters have shared.

We would not be where we are today without the help of:

  • Steve and the Wales Co-op Centre
  • Unltd
  • The Prince’s Trust
  • Children In Need
  • Discovery
  • Disability Sport Wales
  • Jamie Rewbridge
  • Cerebra and UWTSD
  • Mark and Swansea University School of Management
  • Welsh Surf Federation
  • Anna and Rob Parton
  • Karenza Cassidy
  • Bronwen Warner and The Gumby Legacy
  • JP
  • All our coaches and volunteers
  • All our amazing surfers and their families
  • Everyone who has fundraised and donated to us
  • The LC
  • Parmi and IncludeMeToo
  • Strongbones
  • The Team at NPT Children’s Centre
  • Rehab Engineering Morristown Hospital
  • Special kids
  • The Swans Community Trust
  • Warburtons
  • Seren and Kasey
  • Simon and Gower Surf
  • SCVS
  • My family

And a special thanks of course to:

  • Elmo for keeping us all fed
  • Kai and Leanne for being fearless test pilots
  • Toby for all his time and effort volunteering and then coaching
  • Ben and Nate for being co-directors and all their advice
  • Stu and Steve for being willing to put up with a surf school’s worth of surfboards in your flat when we first started!
  • And anyone else who we missed out: We love you all!

And of course, to Benjamin Clifford! Without his incredible and unwavering commitment to his dream of making surfing a reality for everyone in the UK, none of us would be here today!

“Thank you, Ben! There isn’t a day that goes by where you aren’t making the world a better place, adapted wave by adapted wave!”

How Do We Do It?

Ensuring that safe, adapted and inclusive surf is available to as many people as possible is an important part of the Surfability mission. In this week’s How Do We Do It? We’d like to share an insight into the additional work undertaken by Benjamin Clifford, the Surfability U.K. CIC founder and director, to achieve exactly this.

We’d like to introduce the team at Healing Waves Surf Therapy, Jersey, who worked with Ben last week to complete their Adaptive and Inclusive Surf Coach Training Course.

With the support of the Welsh Surf Federation (here), Ben is now able to offer training to any surf school who want to offer adapted and inclusive surfing.

And we’re delighted to confirm that the team at Healing Waves Surf Therapy (here) are offering inclusive surf experiences on the idyllic island of Jersey.

Saturday Squad

Levels of stoke soared at today’s Saturday Squad as Andrew Price and the ITV Coast and Country Team joined our surfers at Caswell Bay.

Don’t forget to keep tuning in to ITV’s Coast and Country (here) to be sure not to miss the action!

Interested to learn a little more about Andrew? Why not visit him on instagram (here)!

Saturday Squad

With a dose of dazzling sunshine and salty shoes, the Littlest Wave Warriors and I waited for the Saturday Squad to arrive.

And once the squad arrived, it wasn’t just Quazi enjoying a seaside splash!

There’s never a bad time to decide you’re ready for a surf! So, if you’re feeling unsure, get in touch and we can help you find your stoke and make a splash!

Secrets of the Sand

Seeking Saltwater Sand Week

Composed mainly of quartz, feldspar and mica, sand is the product of many finely ground rocks. The colour of sand is determined by its component rocks and can vary from near black to pink and yellow.

Sand is constantly being moved by the water of rivers and seas. Constructive swells bring sand to the shore and destructive swells take it away.

Sandy beach image

Acting as a veritable microclimate, sand is also home to a wide range of living organisms. Crabs, clams and beach hoppers are but a few of the more popular residents. Not every sand dweller is as popular though. Inhabitants such as the weever fish are cursed by surfers up and down the British shores for their stings.

Happy crab on the beach

Who knew sand had so many secrets? Join us again next week for more insights into the salt world beneath your surf boards.

How Do We Do It?

In this week’s edition of How Do We Do It, we’re sharing a little insight into how we do our training. After all, ensuring that our skills are top notch is an important part of making adaptive surfing enjoyable and safe for all our participants.

Controlling the tandem board with another person in the seat requires a lot of skill and practice. The team at Surfability UK take every opportunity to get out the back and practice. And as you can see, even our volunteers get stoked!

The Saturday Squad

Spring is in the air this morning and our Saturday Squad are taking full advantage of the sunshine.

If you’re feeling tempted to try surfing for the first time or your surfboard is gathering dust, there’s no better time to get in the water. Summer’s on its way and Surfability can adapt a wave for everyone!

How Do We Do It?

As part of our How Do We Do It weekly segment, we’ve decided to share something a little different and very special with you today.

This week’s video is The Story of Michael, brought to you by Tobii Dynavox (a revolutionary company who’s aim is to assist every person, regardless of their disability, with communication).

Michael surfed with us last year and to call him inspirational… well, that would simply be an understatement!

Can You Spot the Sea Bird?

It’s a sad fact that there can’t be swell every single day. Which is why the team at Surfability UK have decided to turn our attention (well at least some of it) to learning about the beautiful birds that inhabit our coastline. Understanding and caring for our avian allies, is an important part of enjoying, protecting and respecting our seas.

Part 1 Spring

The March Equinox has passed. We’ve gleefully waved goodbye to winter (so vigorously in some cases that our gloves may have flown off and hit it on it’s way out!) and now we’re ready to welcome Spring!

So, the first bird that we’ve decided to spot this Easter weekend, is the Black-headed Gull. (Or the Curiously-named Gull as we’ve been referring to it since we discovered that it’s head is only dark in summer! But I digress…)

With over 2.2 million of them squawking around the UK, not least in our coastal towns, we felt confident we couldn’t fail to spot one of these birds!

Famous for their screeching quarrels and scandalous chip stealing swoops, we’ve decided that everyone should be able to take a snap of a sea gull this week!

So break out your phones, your cameras or even your easel and oils if you feel inclined, and join us in celebrating these great British birds.

For further identification information, including a full profile on the Black-headed Gull, click on the image below.

And once you’ve spotted and snapped a few gulls, visit us on the Surfability Facebook and Instagram pages where we’ll be posting this weeks gull pictures!

Sea gull on sea posts

Are You Ready for the Rip Curl Pros to Blow Up Bells Beach?

The tension is mounting! Excited surf contest fans worldwide are eagerly awaiting the start of the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach 2018 surf contest. And the team at Surfability UK are no exception!

Hosted at the beautiful Bells Beach in Victoria, Australia, this next stop of the surfing World Tour isn’t likely to disappoint.

With Filipe Toledo, Griffin Colapinto and Michael February kicking off the first round of the competition, viewers should be tuned in for the next call at 8:30pm GMT.

Not sure where on the web to watch the comp? No worries! Click on the link below and join us on the edge of our seats for tonight’s event!

Seaweed- Super Stinky or Supercool?

Seeking Saltwater- Seaweed Week

Now, I can’t speak for anyone else but one of my surfing pet peeves is getting tangled in seaweed. Especially when I wipe out. The sensation of its slippery stipe and the weight of it wrapped around my ankles…well it just irks me!

Fortunately, seaweed contributes so much more to the world than a selection of sour-faced surfers.

Love it or loathe it, the scent of seaweed is intimately intertwined with our associations of the sea. Whether you approach from the gravel of a car park, the sways of grassland or the dust of sandy dunes, the smell of seaweed will always be waiting you.

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Acting as a source of food, shelter and protection for an abundance of marine life, the virtues of seaweed can seem limitless. Not only is it an integral part of the ocean’s ecosystem, seaweed also has a lot to offer humans.

Rich in iron, calcium, vitamin D and iodine, seaweed is a nutritious and readily available human food. In fact, the name for seaweed actually translates as sea vegetable in other cultures. With a huge range of pleasantly sweet and edible varieties, consumption of seaweed is particularly popular in Japan and other parts of Asia. And acting as the source of a fantastic gut healing prebiotic to boot, it’s not surprising that seaweed is increasingly being referred to as a superfood!

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So, the next time you find yourself in a fight with a frond, try to take a deep breath and remember how amazing our favourite sea vegetable really is! Without it, the ocean wouldn’t be the place we know and love.

How Do We Do It?

Getting the surfboard to the waters’ edge is not always easy for our participants. So how do you manage it, you might ask?

Well, the answer is surprisingly simple. With the use of our surfboard transport trolley! A truly ingenious piece of kit, the transport trolley puts our surfboards on wheels. This enables us to move multiple boards down the beach at once.

Of course, some of our superhero surfers prefer to carry their own boards and this ok by us too!

Sunny Springtime Surfs

As the spring season starts at Caswell Bay, the team at Surfability UK have been enjoying some surfs in the sunshine! Here are some of the highlights of the week.

Seeking Saltwater

The significance the ocean holds for each of us is deeply individual. With the intensity of its textures, sights and sounds, standing at the waters’ edge is an experience that shouldn’t be missed.

Little girl and her father walking towards the sea with surf board

But here at Surfability UK, we’re interested in so much more than power of the crashing waves. The splendor of the sea extends far beyond and beneath it’s frothy top. In a new weekly segment, we aim to explore and share the wonders of the world of the ocean.

You may be interested to know, that on the earths’ surface there’s approximately 333 million cubic miles of water, of which 97.5% is estimated to be salt water. That’s a lot of salt! There are currently 20,000 known species of fish and up to 1.98 million known species of animals and plants living in those vast expanses of saltwater.

While we don’t expect to be able to discuss them all, we are looking forward to having a good crack at it!

If you have any images of the sea, adventures at the aquarium or snaps from scuba diving, that you’d like to see on the segment we’d love you to spam us with them! The email is info@surfabilityukcic.org As always, don’t forget to include the title of your photo, your name if you’d like it published and permission for your image to appear in the blog!

How Do We Do It?

Ever wondered how we do what we do? In our new Monday series, we’ll be using photos and videos to show you just how.

In this weeks’ segment, we’ll be looking at how the Surfability UK team make the Indoor Wave at the LC Leisure Centre in Swansea, accessible for our wheelchair users.

As you can see in this weeks’ video, our participants are supported at every stage of their surf. This ensures that they can focus on fully enjoying the indoor wave while feeling safe throughout their experience.

Want to ask us a question or know how we do what we do? Drop us an email or send us a Facebook message and we’ll let you know!