Silent Surfers | Community Spirit

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Silent Surfers
Silent Surfers

The Florida Surfing Association has yet again found a way to open a new door for another group in society!  Come out to their new surf event on May 21, a “Silent Surfing” surf program for those challenged without hearing.   At 9:00 A.M. on that Saturday in Hanna Park – Lot 8 they will introduce the deaf into the world of surfing.   Everyone is invited and we believe this is the first program in the world of its kind.

The FSA did not want to not stop with teaching a group of Special Olympic athletes to surf and assisting with the Surfers for Autism programs so they began to research how to open another new door for a very special group in society – the deaf. The team at FSA knows the joy felt from surfing and they hope to successfully pass that joy, commonly known as “surf-stoke,” to all that are ready to learn and achieve.  “We truly feel blessed to have the opportunities we have had to put back into the community.”, said director, Paul West. “It began with a simply comment on Face Book by Amanda Tapley who suggested we had subtitles to our Super Grom Surf Fest video from last summer so that deaf children could better understand and enjoy the video.”   The Florida Surfing Association first teamed up with photographer Amanda Tapley at the Special Olympic Surf Events and discovered her amazing gifts and her enthusiasm in assisting people with special needs.  Amanda herself is deaf and a graduate of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) in Rochester, NY - one of the 9 colleges at Rochester Institute of Technology  She also has many contacts within the deaf community.  In addition, several others have joined the organizational team including Eddie Pitts from  Eddie grew up in a home where both parents were deaf. The team also consists of several instructors who have studied ASL courses (American Sign Language) or who are currently enrolled.   That was all the FSA team needed to get the ball rolling and get started to work on how to get those children into the water.  The first formal organizational meeting was held January 28 and already you can feel the positive energy building as additional volunteers and supporters are coming on board daily.

The program will be set up in a similar style to the Super Grom and Special Olympics events, using a  push and surf style. However, different from past events, there will be a student, professional instructor and signer going out into the water in groups providing direct one on one constant supervision and instruction.  This way the signer will be able to communicate between the instructor and surf student to teach them how to surf and to ensure a fun time for all.

This “Silent Surfing” event is truly going to be amazing.  A terrific day is sure to be had as the Florida Surfing Association reaches out to spread more joy through the community with the sport of surfing.   Everyone is invited!  This event will be held on Saturday, June 18 from 9AM – 12PM at the parking are known as Lot 8 in Hanna Park.  For more information or if you would like to volunteer to help or provide support, please visit:  or contact Paul West at (904) 626-9090 –

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