Since 1998 Ride a Wave has been giving children with special needs the opportunity to experience the thrills of surfing regardless of if they are physically, mentally, or economically challenged.  Ride a Wave has acquainted over 2,500 kids with the ocean and has shared with them the excitement of surfing.  With the help of over 300 volunteers, Danny Cortazzo, founder of Ride a Wave, has provided participants with life-changing experiences which reinforce their achievements and potential.  Funded entirely through donations, fundraising activities, and sponsorships, Ride a Wave is always encouraging community members to take action and become involved.  Volunteers are not limited to ocean and surf experts; the success of Ride a Wave requires a wide range of volunteer help.  Professional photographers volunteer their time to document and capture the smiles and spirits of all participants.  Since it’s creation, the foundation has spread past its’ home base in Santa Cruz, CA to assist Malibu Board Riders to serve kids with special needs in San Diego, Malibu, and Carpentaria.  To become involved in Ride a Wave as a participant or volunteer, click here.

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At any given time a surfer can easily list off at least ten different ways surfing is beneficial to one’s health.  Some surfers are convinced it’s the Vitamin D absorbed from exposure to sun rays, or the cleansing properties of salt water, or the high that is only achieved through total immersion in nature’s raw elements.  Regardless of where each surfer discovers his own refuge, all agree that the ocean provides a sanctuary to all that seek healing.

Israel and Danielle Paskowitz witnessed their son Isaiah find his balance in surfing.  Diagnosed with autism at age three, Isaiah discovered peace in the ocean when his father took him tandem surfing.  Realizing the comfort Isaiah experienced while surfing, the Paskowitzs’ organized Surfers Healing; a camp dedicated to sharing the miracle of surfing with autistic children and their families.  The camps rely fully on volunteer support in order to ensure free access to all families that wish to participate.  Each child is individually introduced to the ocean and given private lessons from an experienced surfer volunteer.  Contact izzy@surfershealing.org for more details about volunteering.