High Fives X Adaptive Training Foundation NLand Surf Experience
From October 7-11, 2018 the High Fives Foundation worked with the Adaptive Training Foundation to host a once in a lifetime experience – Surfing perfect consistent waves at NLand Surf Park in Austin, Tex. The event saw camp participants smiling from ear to ear, catching countless waves and forming new friendships.
The Adaptive Training Foundation (ATF) out of Dallas, Tex. personally trains critically injured individuals in 9-week training programs throughout the year. Each training program is capped off with a fun and challenging outing. ATF’s week 13 ReDefine Program ended with nine participants navigating the waters on NLand Surf Park.
It wasn’t in my wildest dreams I thought our crew would be surfing in the middle of Texas. Our ReDeploy is always the epicenter of emotions during the program, and it was an honor to watch each participant benefit from the training they each received leading up to surfing.
Hunter Clark, Director of Operations and Programs for the Adaptive Training Foundation
Along with the nine Adaptive Training Foundation camp participants, the High Fives Foundation also brought a crew of adaptive campers – Trey Humphrey, Alana Nichols, Steve Wallace and Roy Tuscany. Alana, Steve and Roy are regular surfers, but Trey surfed his first waves standing up following the amputation of his right leg while on deployment as a US Marine in Afghanistan in 2010.
Honestly, catching a wave was unexpected. I didn’t truly think I would be able to stand up on a board, and once it happened it just clicked. There was a feeling of elation, and after that initial struggle, I was just just surfing.
Trey Humphrey, Foundation Manager for High Fives
NLand Surf Park, like other wave pools, is the ideal setting for newcomers to learn to surf. With waves coming in at every two minutes and fifteen seconds, each participant was set up for success. One of the more notable accomplishment of the entire camp happened on the third day when ATF participant Debi Waldrop caught 62 waves on her 60th birthday…You heard that right, she caught 62 waves on her 60th birthday!
Surfing was definitely never something that was on my bucket list, even before my stroke, but it is definitely something I've been highly recommending to everyone since this experience. It was such a thrill ride! I really hope I can go back for 63+ next time!
Adaptive Training Foundation ReDeploy camp participant Debi Waldrop
The NLand Surf Experience introduced many new people to the joys of riding a wave. Between the bonds created, goals set and accomplished and good times had, the inaugural camp was a great experience to build off of. Next year the High Fives Foundation and Adaptive Training Foundation plan to expand the camp, and get a whole new crew of folks into the water to experience the thrill of floating on moving water. Stay tuned!