Video: Blind Surfer Rides Wavegarden

Blind surfer Aitor “Gallo” Francesena has successfully ridden the Wavegarden unaided. One of Spain’s premier surf coaches, he had initially lost the sight in his right eye 14 years ago due to congenital glaucoma. Then, in 2012, he lost his left eye in a surfing accident.

A true inspiration to all that know him, Gallo has never let his disability stand in the way of his passion for surfing. His impressive list of personal achievements include writing a book on surf training, competing in international disabled surf events, establishing a surf school, and coaching some of Europe’s top surfers including World Championship Tour professional, Aritz Aranburu.

It was such an incredible experience,” enthused Gallo, who was literally buzzing with joy after his surf session. “Sincerely, this is a really safe place for everyone – handicapped or otherwise – to enjoy the amazing feeling surfing brings, because all the waves are the same, there is minimal current compared to the ocean, and the waves can be stopped whenever necessary.”

Gallo’s zest for life is without boundaries. In preparation for ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship, he practises surfing in the ocean late at night when there’s no chance of colliding with other surfers or swimmers.

“When I hear people say that I inspire them, it fills me with so much pleasure”, added Gallo, with a big smile. “We all need to work with what we have and do our very best every time, it’s that simple.”

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