Tucked away on the North East Coast of South Carolina is a small beach town called Cherry Grove. This sleepy beach town is a safe haven for surfers and beach lovers from all walks of life. Whether you are a beginning surfer or a more advanced athlete, the locals believe that there is room for everyone in the water.
The belief that surfing is for everyone is what led to the creation of The Adaptive Surf Project in 2014.
The Adaptive Surf Project is a non- profit organization that helps individuals with disabilities and injuries surf by designing and giving away adaptive surfboards.
When the Cherry Grove surfers learned that there were people who wanted to surf, but were unable to do so due to injuries, Luke Sharp and his friends decided to do something about it.
After meeting with therapists and board shapers, the Adaptive Surf Board was created. To pay for the boards The Adaptive Surf Project put on many different events. Local musicians, business owners, volunteers, and people from all over the world came together to make these events a success. Thanks to the hard work from the volunteers and the support from the community, Adaptive Surf Project was able to spread their reach to more people than ever before. Injuries and disabilities that once prevented surfers from taking part in surfing were no longer barriers that kept them out of the water. The mission grew and chapters started popping up in different states, other countries, and Adaptive Surfers from Cherry Grove even went to surfing competitions and won!
Since the inception of Adaptive Surf Project, the group has partnered with other organizations to get people back on bikes, and most recently on paddle boards. When asked what the biggest take away from being involved with the organization was, Luke Sharp was quick to come up with an answer. He said, “People thank us and give us praise, but we aren’t the ones who deserve it. The caregivers who dedicate 24 hours a day taking care of their loved ones are the real heroes. The volunteers and myself aren’t sacrificing anything by sharing what we love with people, we love doing it.”
It is impossible not to smile when you see the surfers catching a wave.
Waves are for everyone, and The Adaptive Surf Project has made that possible and kept the stoke alive. If you would like to learn more, donate, or volunteer check out www.adaptivesurfproject.com