They are part of the Silent Surfer program.
Organizer Paul West says many deaf and blind students think surfing is a closed door. But teams of volunteers work together to make it possible.
"We have one instructor, one interpreter who's fluent in sign. They become married and stay together," West said. "Then we put an athlete surfer with them. They go out together in that configuration with a surfboard."
Today was 9-year-old student Rosalia Fraychineaud's first time surfing.
"I loved paddling and getting up. I loved that people were signing like me," Fraychineaud said.
Organizers say last year, they had 25 kids at the event but this year, that number more than doubled with 70 surfers. So, they added things like yoga, nutritional information and physical training.
"These kids have never had this opportunity before, some have never even been on the beach on a surfboard on a surfboard. So it's an opportunity for kids to do what every other child does," said Sue Hill, Athletic Dir. for the Florida School for the Deaf & the Blind.
Rosalita agrees. She says with surfing, the waves can't tell who can hear and who can't.
Submitted by FirstCoastNews Web Staff
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