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Parasurfing in Brazil - 13th August 2021 View All

These are the beautiful beaches of Santos in Brazil. They’re great for surfers of all abilities.

The Radical School of Adapted Surfing coaches people with health problems and disabilities. It was opened two years ago by Francisco Araña.

Surfing helped Malu Mendes, who has cerebral palsy, move more easily. And in 2020, she became world champion of parasurfing.

Malu Mendes: "I was born with cerebral palsy, and when I went to the doctor after years of surfing, he said there was no explanation as to why I am doing so well. My neurological exam is that of someone who can't walk well, what made the difference was surfing."

Many people with different health conditions and disabilities use Araña’s school. He thinks everyone can benefit from surfing. He’s sure it brings happiness. He feels this is essential for good health.

Araña designs surfboards which make surfing safer. Their shape supports people with health conditions and disabilities.

Francisco Araña: "I built this board with adaptations like these: to lift my chest, for me to place my chin, so I can further adapt. For example, if I have some kind of physical condition in my arm, I work on very simple positions to adapt my body and not injure myself and it’s very cheap to build."

Miguel Almeida lost most of his eyesight because of illness when he was a baby. But his hearing is excellent and helps him surf.

Miguel Almeida: "I can hear more than normal so I am able to visualize things in a different way, not with my eyes but with my ears. And when I am surfing, with the sound of the waves I know if the waves are big or small.

The school is now helping Miguel achieve his dream. He is going to compete in the World Parasurfing Championships in California in December. View Less

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