Adaptive surfing pushes further into wave pools

The Wave Bristol announced this week they will host the 2020 Korev Lager English Adaptive Surfing Open, an event showcasing both local and international surfers.

“We are now on the Fourth English Adaptive Open, an event which has grown exponentially over the last four years and is well recognised by International Athletes,” said Surfing England. “We are proud of all that has been achieved, and especially excited for 2020 to deliver this event at The Wave.”

The Wave says they have been committed to Adaptive Surfing, supporting the English adaptive team at the ISA World Para Surfing Championships (formally the ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championships).  

Nick Hounsfield, founder of The Wave built his wave pool enterprise on inclusivity and health. He sees the English Adaptive Open as a natural extension of the company’s philosophy.

“Ever since I started to think about creating The Wave, I knew that it had to be truly accessible for all,” said Nick. “We designed the place with adaptive surfing at the very core what we want to deliver. I’ve been working with the Adaptive Surfing Community for the last five years.”
This marks at least the second major adaptive surfing event in a wave pool. In July of 2019 Snowdonia Adventure Parc hosted the Welsh Adaptive Surf Championships. The event saw former world champs Mark ‘Mono’ Stewart and Bruno Hansen mix it up along with 24 athletes representing 13 nations.

The surfers competed in three categories, standing (AS1), kneeling (AS2) and prone (AS3). Australia’s Mark ‘Mono’ Stewart edged out hometown favorite Llewelyn Wiliams in the AS2 division. Williams was instrumental in bringing the event to Adventure Parc Snowdonia and into a wave pool.

“It ticks all the boxes for us: guaranteed surf, fantastic food and accommodation, and world-class facilities in the most beautiful location,” said Williams. “Competing on consistent and reliable inland waves make for better competition, and the fact that spectators can get so close up to the waves makes it a much more interesting event.”

Mark “Mono” Stewart spoke with WavePoolMag and shared with us the role wave pools can play in adaptive surfing

“The hardest thing after losing a limb is that fear,” said Mono. “The ocean is such a big playing field. It’s easier to get someone surfing in a wave pool and then get them into the ocean. The ocean is such a healing place. And wave pools are a great introduction or re-introduction.”

The Korey Lager English Adaptive Surfing Open will run at The Wave on October 3rd, 2020. Full information about the event at this Surfing England link.