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Watch: Pro-surfer paves the way for disabled students to catch waves in Argentina

Watch: Pro-surfer paves the way for disabled students to catch waves in Argentina
Copyright Intern 05/
Copyright Intern 05/
By Sharifah Fadhilah AlshahabNacho Larumbe
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In a coastal city in Argentina, surf’s up for everyone, able-bodied or otherwise. Lucas Rubiño is a man on a mission, making waves through his special surf school and adapted surfboards.

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By age 17, Lucas Rubiño was a professional surfer. He is a five-time champion in the tandem category and a longboard champion. Aside from his surfing achievements, Lucas told SCENES that founding the Escuela Mardel Surf School is arguably his most fulfilling undertaking. It allows him to ride the waves with an exceptional group of people. 

Students of the surf school have varying disabilities, such as Down’s Syndrome, cerebral palsy, and quadriplegia. Many of them never imagined they could surf. However, Lucas insists the sport is for everyone. All you need is a little ingenuity.

Without compromising safety, Lucas uses PVC pipes or recycled wheelchair parts to build attachments for the surfboards. Whether it is to enhance stability or to support posture, Lucas tailors the surfboards to the needs of the surfer. He also adapts his lessons accordingly. For non-verbal students, he communicates by touch, sometimes tapping their feet to instruct them to stop. 

Lucas is dedicated to his students, and his commitment to inclusivity doesn’t stop at surfing. He also works hard to improve accessibility on beaches. He builds pathways to ensure that everyone, including wheelchair users, can enjoy the sun, sand, and sea.

Journalist • Sharifah Fadhilah Alshahab

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