Adaptive surfing: leisure, competition or therapy?

João Taborda Lopes, Mariona Masdemont, Gonçalo Martins Vasconcelos Cruz


Adaptive surfing is an outdoor sports activity which is practice in a natural, dynamic and high challenging environment. The moving waves, rip currents, tides and the beach appears as an innovative approach if compared to other traditional adaptive water sports (such as swimming, rowing or sailing). In this basis we can divide adaptive surfing in three major types of interventions: as recreative/leisure activity and play, as sportive competition and high-performance sports; or as therapeutic technic or with rehabilitation proposes. Nowadays adaptive surfing is finally being considered as highly important not only by surfers, therapists and social workers but also by the general public and a number of politicians as a crucial instrument for social inclusion worldwide. We hope to see more adaptive surfing programs and projects worldwide in the next years and hope it will gain more attention from governmental and non-governmental organizations in order to obtain more funding to support these programs. More funding would enable researchers to conduct this kind of work more often and produce more extensive data to support the case for the usefulness of adaptive surfing.

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