Published:June 30, 2014
Last week on June 20-22, many deaf surfers from both coasts of the state gathered in Huntington Beach, California to participate and compete in the first USA Deaf Open of Surfing.
The contest wasn't just a competition for national championship, but further it was a reunion of deaf surfers who had not surfed together for a while or ever before. Some surfers even made the far journey from Brazil, Australia, and Israel.
There were about 50 contestants competing in various open categories, including shortboard, longboard titles, and other age categories. The surf was far from ideal but allowed the surfers to show their abilities.
Regardless of the conditions, competitors were in good spirits and having fun. High-5s, hugs, and smiles were constantly being exchanged before, during and after heats.
Another unique and amazing aspect of the contest was that everyone was using sign language from different countries but were still able to communicate successfully. There were even live text message updates posted online to audiences who were tuning into the webcast, so both deaf and hearing viewers could get real time updates.
Special thanks goes out to all the sponsors, volunteers, friends, family, and competitors who made this special event possible.