Like a duck to water. That was our collective thought the moment we all saw Kevin on a board for the first time. Right away it was obvious to us that Kevin – who is already an outstanding athlete (swimmer, competitive hand cycling, and more…) was a natural born surfer. It has been very exciting for us to watch Kevin’s rapid development as a surfer, from his first time riding tandem to shredding prone solo on the regular.
So with that, let’s hear Kevin’s story in his own words!
My wife Shannon and I moved to Hawaii in the fall of 2017, and attended our first “Day
at the Beach” a week after arriving on the island. We were immediately hooked and have
been every month since then. Shannon has had just as much fun volunteering as I have
surfing. We’ve both found that the best part of every AccesSurf event is the people. I’ve
never met a more welcoming community.
I’ve always loved the water, and worked towards becoming a strong swimmer during my
college years at the Naval Academy. Since my spinal cord injury in spring 2011, I’ve
been focused on competitive handcycle racing, and swimming has allowed for different
types of shoulder movements. Although the pool is readily accessible, the beach has
always been a logistical challenge.
The volunteer instructors at AccesSurf have been absolutely fantastic. After a couple
times on the water with Jonah and James, they encouraged me to try solo prone surfing.
It was just the push I needed. Thanks in part to the confidence I’ve built at AccesSurf,
Shannon and I have also started enjoying open water swimming and paddleboarding.
Being free in the ocean (with my chair back on land) is incredibly liberating.
Taking advantage of the ocean is a must for anyone living in Hawaii, and thanks to
AccesSurf, nobody has an excuse. For many people like me, the beach presents a
formidable barrier, but AccesSurf tears that barrier down.”