Surf lessons in Ericeira, Peniche and Lourinhã are easy to find. This is probably the top-ranking group of surf spots in Portugal for all ages and skill levels, so there are plenty of surf schools you can get in touch with if you want to get better at tackling the swell. Still, for all the possibilities surf offers when it comes to a communion with nature and a deeply therapeutic activity, it"s not for everybody. Now, things may change with the first ever seated surfboard coming into play.
A tandem surfboard for disabled children
To the question of why you would need a seated surfboard, the answer is quite simple: many children and adults have neurological conditions that left them strapped to a wheelchair. But even these children - or particularly these children - can benefit a lot from the fun and therapy of a wave ride.
That"s why Cerebra Innovation Centre (CIC) created the first seated surfboard, in cooperation with Roger Cooper Surfboards. The resulting surfboard is the best of both worlds, as it contains a seat to which disabled children can be strapped in, while allowing a trained instructor to control it.
Also part of the partnership are Surfability UK and Tonic Surf Therapy, and the project actually dates to 10 years back, having since developed several devices intended to improve the life of disabled children. While nobody denies how these children can benefit from surf lessons, most schools and associations are hard-pressed to find suitable options for them, as regular surfboards just don"t cut it.
The safety of all involved and an expansion of the surf envelope allowed to these children are concerns to be had at all times, so any advancements that can allow for a deeper, more meaningful experience, are always welcome.
Surf lessons in Ericeira are more than just sport
Just how therapeutic is surf? Those who give surf lessons at Ericeira and the surrounding surf spots can tell you a lot about the beneficial effects of surf lessons for families and youth. It"s no wonder that a bit all around the world, surf schools are being created to help bring communities close together and help out underprivileged youths.
One of the greatest success stories actually happened in Brazil, just last year when, Raphael dos Santos Nascimento, diagnosed with cerebral palsy, walked for the first time, thanks to surf lessons. The Brazilian boy, strapped to a wheelchair since he was an infant, was ten when he gave his first steps, after 8 months of surf lessons and today, he can actually walk alone, even if he needs the help of his mother and teachers to reach the waves.
Equally interesting, the interaction with the surf instructors has allowed Raphael do develop his undernourished speaking abilities, giving the boy new ways of communicating with the surrounding world.
Autistic children are also known to benefit from practising surf, so the next time you"re looking for surf lessons in Ericeira for your surfing vacations, why not consider it more than just physical activity and look at it as a way to connect deeper with those you love and are important to you?