Life Rolls On held their first They Will Surf Again (TWSA) event of the season on May 17, 2014 in Santa Monica. TWSA is an award winning series of surfing events that "empower paraplegics and quadriplegics to experience the freedom of mobility by riding a wave with the assistance of adaptive equipment and the support of hard working volunteers."
Over 200 volunteers, along with event sponsors such as Red Bull, gathered just south of the Santa Monica Pier on this Saturday morning to help make this go down in the books as one of the most amazing TWSA events ever. A huge number of people affected with spinal cord injury(SCI), both young and old, from all over southern California came out to surf the waves. Using specially designed surfboards and the guidance of expert instructors, they were able to experience the fun and excitement of surfing. With their family and friends, as well as everyone on the beach, cheering them on as they caught wave after wave, emotions ran from laughter to tears of joy.
Life Rolls On was founded by Jessie Billauer. It was 1996, Jessie was just 17 years old and on the verge of becoming a professional surfer when he hit his head on a shallow sandbar at Zuma, breaking his neck and severing his spinal cord, sustaining a C-6 complete spinal cord injury, which resulted in quadriplegia. After leaving the hospital, Jessie was determined to do two things: to surf again and to help inspire others to follow their passions, which led to creating the Life Rolls On Foundation.
This event starts off the 2014 Get On Board Tour, which will have eight more TWSA events in cities on both coasts, as well as a They Will Skate Again event in Venice Beach and a charity golf tournament in New Jersey.
Also check out the They Will Skate Again Photo Gallery for photos of the adaptive skate clinic and contest held in the Venice Beach skatepark last year.
Other event photo galleries: