‘It was just so freeing’: Organizations partner to bring accessible surfing to the Grand Strand

Published: Aug. 27, 2023 at 9:28 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SURFSIDE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Over 140 trained volunteers helped individuals with different disabilities learn to surf at Saturday’s Wheel to Surf event in Surfside Beach.

One participant, Harriet Enzor hadn’t been in the ocean in over 60 years.

“I was 14 the last time I was in the ocean,” she said.

It was also the last time Enzor wasn’t paralyzed. She said after taking a polo vaccine, her life changed forever.

“I became paralyzed,” said Enzor. “After taking a vaccine.”

Before her paralysis, Enzor played sports and was active. However, she couldn’t find any sport that could accommodate her disability after her paralysis. Enzor took her children to surf, but could only dream about what it would feel like if she could get in the water.

“I thought, oh what would that feel like? Just what would that feel like,” she said.

She wasn’t alone in dreaming of getting back into the ocean. Brock Johnson was a surfer before an accident left him paralyzed as well.

“That was my favorite thing to do,” he said. “I had an accident, where I am a quadriplegic now, and I just wanted to go surfing again.”

So Johnson took his dream of wanting to surf and founded Coastal Adaptive Sports, which put on Saturday’s event in partnership with the Adaptive Surf Project.

Before adaptive surfers head out, trained volunteers work hard to make sure they’re secured. Once secured, specially modified surfboards allow the adaptive surfers to easily ride a wave.

After 60 years, Enzor was finally able to get into the ocean and fulfill her dream of surfing.

“It was just so freeing,” said Enzor. “It was freedom for me.”

The next Wheel to Surf event is scheduled for Oct. 7 in the Cherry Grove area. Click here for more information.

Stay with WMBF News for updates.