Surfer spotlight

How our programs are making a difference 

Stories of hope and healing

Our surfer spotlight shares a glimpse into the lives of our participants and celebrates the positivity and tremendous outcomes our surfing program is bringing. Our programs run for 4 weeks (4 x 2hr lessons each weekend) and are aimed at those with very little to no surfing experience, They are free to all participants thanks to our generous sponsors and program partners. 

Rye’s story

Army vet stands tall

Rye is a Young Army veteran who had his emerging career cut short after being injured and then diagnosed with musculoskeletal & neurological lower limb injuries which were progressive & degenerative.

At age 19, Rye was at war with his own body. “I’d get to that feeling like, oh shit, nothing is going to happen, I’d be better off without any legs because they caused more issues and got in the way”. In 2018 Rye finally underwent a successful operation that implanted a battery pack in his butt cheek that is connected to wires running through his spinal cord. He required months of recovery but the surgery and implant allows him short stints out of his wheelchair with the use of a walking stick.

Rye turned up at OSS3 and without making a fuss about his disability, he stood for the first time towards the end of session 1 and went on to catch wave after wave over the following weeks and we could not be prouder to have played a part in this.

VIDEO: Scott McAulay and Fred Farquhar

Blaire’s story

400km round trip for mental health

We first met Blaire when we launched OSS1 in 2021. Blaire was part of our debut program and at that time he was battling PTSD and depression as a result of years of frontline policing and multiple traumatic and critical incidents.

He turned to our program in the hope it might assist him in some way and we are so blessed to see the progress he has made since the day he first turned up at OSS.

Despite living a long way from the beach and needing to do a 400+km round trip to have a surf, Blaire is dedicated to looking after his mental and physical health.

VIDEO: Scott McAulay and Fred Farquhar

OSS learn to surf programs are open to current or former police, fire or ambulance employees as well as military veterans.

Operation Soul Surf

Surfing is a ‘whole of body’ experience that engages both mind and body, providing an overall health benefit to those involved with our programs. Our learn to surf programs are open to current or former police, fire or ambulance employees as well as military veterans.

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Operation Soul Surf

Operation Soul Surf acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the lands and waters on which we work, live and surf. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging as well as all Aboriginal and Torres Straight Island Communities