The Disabled Surfers Association (DSA) season kicked off on Sunday, and while there were plenty of familiar faces in attendance, it was the new toy donated through the Titans Community Foundation that caught everyone’s eye.
With the help of former Australian surfer Wayne McKewen, the shaping of the new “Life-Craft” surfboard represents a milestone nearly four decades in the making for him and a milestone for the Titans Community Foundation.
Labelled as one of Australia’s leading surfing shapers, McKewen was all-in when it came to working on this project after suffering from a debilitating illness that struck him down as a teenager.
Working together with the Titans Community team and DSA, the specialist board was designed and made to give everyone the opportunity to catch a wave. After a solid testing session last Friday, it was great to see the lifecraft in action over the weekend.
Titans forward Keegan Hipgrave was on-hand to test out the new Life-Craft, and can see how the new board will provide enjoyment for everyone who attends the DSA events.
“I had a tour of the surfboard factory and had a look at how it was made and it looks great,” Hipgrave said.
“We’ve given it a trial, and it’s all ready to go for the first DSA surfing session.
“It’s a soft-top as well, and it allows two or more people to get on.
“It can hold us big boys, and a couple of kids as well. No one is going to get hurt and it can hold a lot of volume.”
Born and bred on the Gold Coast, Hipgrave has been a keen surfer his whole life and can see the benefit of having a board made like this so everyone can enjoy catching a wave.
“I grew up surfing, and I know what it’s like. Just to come down and see them is great,” Hipgrave added.
“I’ve been down here a few times, and to see the smiles on the kids’ faces is unreal.
“We’re near the beach and it just makes sense for us to be involved with something like DSA.”
The Titans partnered with McKewen to raise awareness of the new Life-Craft, and used funds raised during the “Titans Community Kick-In” to purchase and donate to DSA, a group the Titans have been working closely with for many years.
While the first session of the DSA season on the Gold Coast has been held, there are still a lot of opportunities to get involved. The next sessions will be held on:
Sunday, 10 November
Sunday, 1 December
Sunday, 19 January
Sunday, 16 February
Sunday, 15 March
Visit disabledsurfers.org for more information.