Bobby Donnelly and Christopher Tomlin, two of my young shaping apprentices and surfing buddies, are both E.O.D. techs with the Military. Both have been wounded during service to our country. Bobby lost his right leg, below the knee. Chris just got blown up 3-4 times in Humvee's. His injuries are slightly less apparent outwardly, but equally traumatic. Bobby and Chris, both accomplished surfers, are very involved and dedicated to the Wounded Warriors Surf Camp at Del Mar, California.
I spend a lot of time with Chris and Bobby and have been hearing many uplifting stories about our disabled veterans and the enjoyment they derive from their time in the water.....being introduced to surfing and the ocean. It is great therapy physically and mentally and just plain FUN. I was mostly hearing stories about guys with one or both legs amputated, below or above the knee, who were having fun on longboards at the camp. After catching a wave, they ride sitting or prone. This inspired me to envision and shape a board that
would hopefully provide them with the best possible surfing experience and the most exhilaration while riding. Here is what I came up with. it's a prototype that we can tweek as necessary.
At 5' 1-1/2" x 22-1/2" x 3" with a wide overall template these young athletes can hopefully paddle it into waves. It has a fast hull design, employing a subtle single-into-double bottom, low profile single-foil, Simmons-ish twin keels, set forward for maneuverability and (2) hand holds just forward of the deck concave for extra control. Peter, Sally, Gary Stuber and the crew at Moonlight Glassing have donated the glass job. Dave King of King SUP'S is donating the pad that will cover the deck concave area. I would like to thank them all for helping me with this project. Enough text. Check it out!