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Surfing Brings Hope to Veterans and Children with Special Needs

Posted On May 10, 2012 by

Danny Cortazzo, the founder of Ride a Wave, Johnny Bowling and Tom Castro give children with special needs their own chance to get stoked on the water. Credit: Ride a Wave

Stoke. Merriam Webster’s on-line dictionary defines it as “being in an enthusiastic or exhilarated state.” If you already surf you know what it feels like. If you don’t, you ought to get yourself to a beach and give it a try.

I live in a surf town so I know that surfers come in a wide range of shapes and sizes – they aren’t all young, tan, hard body Bay Watch lifeguards. One of the things I love about surfing is that all kinds of people can do it. When I paddle out at my local break, I can run into anyone from my next door neighbor, to classmates of my second grader, to world famous big wave surfers. All on the same day.

But even I was a bit surprised last week to find myself sharing the line-up with a young paraplegic boy on one side and a couple of wounded veterans with prosthetic limbs on the other. Continue reading »