Are you ready to participate in an event that will leave you smiling all weekend? Surfing for all abilities through DSAMP. Whether you are a surfer or a volunteer this day is for you! Smiles on Dials is what it is all about! Surfing for ALL ABILITIES is the best day you will have over Summer!
Each year the Disabled Surfers Association run two events at Point Leo surf beach in Victoria. There are also lots of other events that take place across the state and across the country. Head here to find all the locations.
This year at Point Leo the events will be held on
Saturdays the 13th January and the 3rd. March, 2018.
(Inverloch: Saturday the 17th. February.)
Registration opens at 10am and surfing happens between 11am-3pm.
Anyone with any type of disability can join in.
Cooper has attended these events for the last 4 years and here are our top tips!
Plug in Point Leo Lifesaving Club into Google Maps.
As you head into the park you need to stop at the Rangers booth. Because you are part of the DSAMP event there is no cost to drive in.
Car parking is well signposted and lots of volunteers are around to guide you in the right direction. There are areas for people bringing larger groups.
To the right of the surf club are the tables for registration. They are clearly marked. Head over and introduce yourself to the great volunteers. There will be a small form to fill out ( you can save time by printing it off at home/doing it online) and a cost of $10 per surfer.
Each surfer will get a yellow rash vest marked with participant and a wrist band with your name.
Each carer/support person will get a grey vest and a wrist band with your name.
You may also get an extra wrist band if you are unable to float.
You are all signed up Congratulations!
The surf club is on your left past the registration. This area is wheelchair accessible. In this area are change areas, toilets and a chance to pick up a wetsuit if needed. This is the ocean it is cold!
Last year there was also a changing places bathroom.
This is also the area where you can check out all the new beach wheelchairs on loan from across the Shire.
Food and Drink.
Before you head down to the beach there is a chance to grab a drink or a sausage if you need some energy before your surf! Keep in mind that the great volunteers will also be cruising the beach with snacks during the sessions. You can also purchase the latest DSMAP t-shirt or hoodie or hat.
Access to the beach
There are plenty of beach wheelchairs and volunteers to help you access the surf area. If you can make your way down independently just remember its a little steep and the sand gives you a good workout. This time next year there will be a boardwalk to access the beach.
On the sand.
There are several tents set up.
The first tent you see is sign posted Transition Tent.
This is your first stop and where you will be given a colour/group. Just locate that flag colour and head over to that tent area. Each tent is well staffed and friendly volunteers can help you out. There are chairs to sit and a board that will show the order of the surfers. There is a whiteboard where the staff will write you name, this is so you know when it will be your turn.
Sometimes there is a bit of a wait but its always fun to sit and chat with others and eat some lollies!
In the water.
There will be a huge support group in the water for each surfer. The people in RED rash vests are the group leader. They are usually people who are hard core surfers! The people in the GREEN rash vests coordinate it all and the BLUE vests are all the amazing volunteers. Some it will be there first time, others their tenth. They range in age from 8-80 ( well that might not be entirely correct but you get the idea)
The best way for you to surf will be individual so just work with the volunteers and let them know what you are comfortable with. There are some extra supports available like bean bag supports for those who need to lie down in the board.
The group of supporters are always smiling and always clapping and always giving a hi5! You may feel like a celebrity- well Cooper does!
Most of the time you can have a couple of turns and then its back to the beach and back in line if you’d like!
There are patrolled flagged areas where you can swim after your surf. Cooper loves getting bowled over by the waves!
What to bring.
Change of clothes and a warm blanket for cooler days.
Lots of energy and a smile!
Gold coin donation for soft drink.
See you there!
This post has been updated as of January 2018.