July 4, 2022

Surfing as medicine

Surfers like to say that “there is no problem that a good gurney cannot fix.” But, of course, if you have two arms and two legs, if not?

You can often hear phrases from surfers like “there are no such problems that a good gurney cannot fix,” “you forget about everything in the ocean,” “surfing makes you happy.”

But, if you think about it, it’s easy to say if everything is OK in general if you have two arms and two legs, a roof over your head, and food.

Unfortunately, not all people in the world go smoothly; no one is immune from accidents. However, as practice shows, surfing can help people overcome a lot.

You may have heard of programs such as psychological rehabilitation for ex-military personnel or surf training for children with disabilities.

Today I want to talk about a specific person I happened to ride on the same spot, and only a few years later, I learned his story.


In 2015, Bruno won the ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship. These were the first competitions of this kind in history, and they took place, of course, in California.

In my opinion, such competitions are the most exciting and cannot be compared even with Bigwave surfing.

Because in this case, we are faced with a struggle, not of physical fitness, strength, and skill, but incredible power of mind and courage.

Inborn empathy allows you to at least partially feel how strong a test is for the participants, so it is simply impossible to remain indifferent.

Surfing is a sport that involves absolutely the whole body: arms and legs, from heels to crown, but here we can see with our own eyes that even an incomplete set of all these components does not stop people from what they genuinely love.


But back to Bruno. Several years ago, I rode almost daily on one of the not busiest spots in Bali, where I regularly met a man on a lineup whose legs were not working.

I saw how a woman rolled him in a wheelchair to the very edge of the water and waited on the shore while he moved.

He swam on a giant board, sat higher than everyone else, and took the big waves, rode them lying on his stomach, and, returning, smiled like no other surfer—the sincere, happy smile of the alive person in the world.

There was always a unique atmosphere in his company on the lineup.

When you see a person who is more complicated than you, but he does not give up, does and gets pleasure, sincerely rejoices, it instills in your confidence that the world is not so bad.

You understand that the ocean is magical, and there are no insurmountable barriers. That as long as you breathe, life is not over

Bruno was born in Denmark and was utterly healthy from birth. He was involved in wrestling, often got involved in fights, and was generally quite aggressive.

According to him, threatening someone, he often used the words “I will break you in half,” but fate decreed otherwise – he broke down himself.

A fractured spine paralyzed his lower body. And, again, in his own words, it was a blessing for him. Why? Better to let him tell himself.

Bruno took part in the HUMAN project; these are short video interviews of various people about who they are, how, and what they live.

After watching this video, you understand that surfing is the best medicine in the world, and while nothing hurts you, you need to enjoy life to the fullest, every second, to the last drop.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.