In May of 2016, the High Fives Foundation brought 11 adaptive athletes to Maui Hawaii for a ten-day surf camp. Each of the athletes has a spinal cord injury and surfs using specialized boards and techniques.
The High Fives Foundation, a non-profit in the mountain action sports industry, created these annual adaptive surf camps to bring the athletes into the realm of ocean and waves.
“The camps are getting people to step outside of their comfort zone so that they can positively grow and move forward — get past that injury,” says Roy Tuscany, High Fives Executive Director. Most athletes were not avid surfers before their injury, but surfing allows for motion and independence unlike any other adaptive sport.
This surf camp is the second time the High Fives Foundation has ventured to the warm and healing waters of Maui, Hawaii. There is energy on that island, a distinct sensation felt by many.
“When you come here, it feels different than where I’ve ever been in the world,” said Josh Dueck, an Athlete of the High Fives Foundation who was injured in a ski accident in 2004.
Since 2009, the High Fives Foundation has helped 114 injured athletes, bringing them experiences and grant funding towards their recoveries. They’ve built a strong network to help these athletes improve their lives and overcome adversity
“Luckily with a group like High Fives, there’s a ton of support, and they want to help you figure it out,” said Bond Camp, another High Fives Athlete on the trip. “That’s what I think High Fives is all about.”
The High Fives Foundation has made a video in association with Fractal Film Co to tell the powerful story of leaving limitations behind and using surfing as a way of healing together as a family.