Over $50,000 in travel funds granted to compete at 6th Annual Pismo Beach ISA World Para Surfing Championship

With the support of Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), the world’s top adaptive surfers have traveled to Pismo Beach to display their talents in the 6th Annual Pismo Beach International Surfing Association (ISA) World Para Surfing Championship hosted by AmpSurf. CAF provided 39 travel grants to athletes participating from 15 different countries totaling more than $50,000 of support to advance adaptive surfing.

A worldwide leader in adaptive sports, CAF supported first-time competitors from new countries including Jamaica and Puerto Rico to attend the championship. The event connects the global surfing community and unites competitors and national teams towards inclusion of the sport in future Paralympic Games.

“We are honored to partner with ISA for the 6th year by funding the needed travel grants so that surfers from around the world can compete.”, said Nancy Reynolds, Senior Director of Business Development at CAF. “This, along with our Youth Adaptive Surf Program that provides equipment, coaching and clinics to kids and developing adaptive surfers is providing access to a lifestyle sport like surfing for people with physical disabilities at all levels”.

Featured athletes include:

Liv Stone, San Diego, CA

Born with a congenital limb difference, Olivia “Liv” Stone has shorter arms with two fingers on each arm. Liv was introduced to surfing through Bethany Hamilton, then attended CAF’s 3-day Surf Camp in 2018 where she fell in love with the sport. She convinced her parents into moving to San Diego (from PA) to surf competitively and is now a two-time Gold Medal Para Surf World Champion.

Sam Bloom – Palm Beach, New South Wales, Australia

Australia’s two-time Para Surfing World Champion Sam Bloom is looking to bring home her 3rd world title in adaptive surfing. In 2013, the Australian nurse became paralyzed from the chest down after falling through a faulty lookout railing on a family vacation. Returning to surfing and reconnecting with her love for the ocean has played a huge role in her health and wellbeing.

Alcina “Pirata” Neto – North Shore, Hawaii

Brazil’s adaptive surfing legend “Pirata” had to adapt the way he surfs after losing his leg in a serious car accident. Now, 51 he holds two world titles and owns an adaptive surf school while coaching up and coming adaptive surfers in the North Shore. Pirata has coached other CAF youth athletes at the CAF 2019 3-DAY BRO-AM Camp.

LIv Stone Surfing at IRONMAN + CAF Surf cliinic

This year, CAF has funded close to $70,000 total to 57 adaptive surfers globally for surf related grants including adaptive equipment, coaching and competition travel. The CAF Adaptive Youth Surf Program, along with support from Junior Seau Foundation, is developing the next wave of surfers that can one day compete at the highest level of adaptive surfing.

We are creating more opportunity for adaptive surfers by working with board manufacturers to adapt innovation in surfboards, by hosting adaptive surf camps and clinics, and by providing competition travel grants.