2018 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree
Surf for All Corp.
Surf for All Corp.
Surf for All Corp. was founded in 2002 to provide recreational and therapeutic programs for Long Island’s developmentally disabled community.
Surf for All Corp. has since expanded to include individuals with autism, cerebral palsy, visual impairments and other challenges. The program provides weekly lessons to challenged surfers of all ages at no cost. The in-ocean staffers are certified surf instructors and lifeguards. Their volunteers come from all walks of life.
For over a decade they have provided weekly surf lessons for students in the Long Beach Special Education Summer School - the only such in-ocean program for disabled public school students in the nation.
Last fall they hosted the initial “Surf for All Olympics,” an adaptive contest allowing surfers to compete in heats sorted by disability. The contest prepared athletes to compete in upcoming Special Olympics and Paralympics programs tied to the debut of surfing as a recognized sport in the 2020 Olympic games in Japan.
Surf for All Adaptive Surf Camp in 2017 was the first of its kind in the state, providing weeklong lessons to develop and build skills.
When Hurricane Sandy devastated Surf for All’s home town of Long Beach the group became a major local catalyst, providing hands-on demolition and rebuilding, collecting cash and donations, and helping host an outdoor Thanksgiving Day feast signaling the determination to achieve full recovery.
“There’s nothing more uplifting than seeing the excitement on the faces of people who dare to overcome challenges in their lives,” Surf For All Corp. Co-Founder Cliff Skudin said of the organization’s mission. “It goes so much farther than riding a wave. We assist people in demonstrating their abilities in the ocean, not only boosting self-esteem but also increasing personal dignity and standing in the community. We believe, the ocean is a source of healing and spiritual strength that should be accessible to all.”
“We accept this award on behalf of all our surfers and all the organizations that have participated over the years, including: the Long Beach Waterfront Warriors, UCP of Nassau County, Third Eye Insight, Camp Abilities Long Island, the Martin Luther King Center of Long Beach, the National Center for Disabilities at the Henry Viscardi School, Town of Hempstead’s Camp Anchor, the Mauli Ola Foundation, Farmingdale UFSD, Life Rolls On, Long Beach City SD, the Gural JCCCamp Friendship, Kids Need More, Shark Waves Adaptive Swim Team, Sinergia School, and Imeinu Inc.” said Mr. Skudin. “We also accept this award on behalf of the many who have contributed over the years, especially our barrier beach friends who provided essential funds to purchase and maintain adaptive equipment, but also those who come to the beach and cheer on our surfers.”