Give a RI Surf Paddler a Break and Some Respect

The guy is not asking for “help” loading/unloading his ride. Just respect and leave his equipment be. Thank you!

(fellow surf paddler)

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That’s sad. The resilience of human spirit is amazing. Reminds me of the guy on a recumbent bike that I came across on the bike trail. His wheel chair broke free and landed down a slight hill and in the bushes. He was good . . . Recovered on his own. If he couldn’t do it himself, he wasn’t going to do it at all. That’s where I heard that! Another time I saw a guy with one leg who had the foot on his good leg in toe clips so he could pedal.


The drive for regaining self-sufficience must be tremendous in people who lost it by an accident.

A woman in my former paddling club had some kind of obvious damage that I suspected came from a bad injury to the head. At first I thought she might have been born with a disability, but over time I noticed that occasionally she would suddenly speak and look at me perfectly normally, revealing a very good brain indeed. And then she would just as abruptly switch back to talking in a high, little-girl, babbling mode ending with her tilting her head slightly and smiling vacantly at something somewhere yonder.

I finally asked a longtime member if this woman had had a terrible accident in adult life. Well, what a sad synopsis he told me. She and her boyfriend had indeed been very active outdoorsfolk. Mountaineering, extreme outdoorsy in extreme environments kind of active. There was an accident that killed him and left her broken in many ways, one of which affected her brain functions.

After hearing that, I had to quietly admire her even paddling at all. I say “quietly,” because I could tell that at least sometimes she knew the new situation and felt frustrated enough that she didn’t want to be pitied. One such time, on a club paddle, she was pulling her kayak on the portage cart through deep, soft sand. The fat tires helped, but it was still a fight. Meanwhile, the rest of us simply enlisted another member to help carry to the vehicles. I asked her if we both could carry her boat, because that would be much easier than the sand portage. With a stubborn tone, she insisted that she HAD to do it by herself. Of course, I let her do as she wanted, but I felt sad she thought she was so alone that even on a club paddle with plenty of help available, she wanted to portage it herself.

I sometimes wonder how she is doing these days, and I wish I had tried to know her better back then. Her way of speaking was offputting and I think made most people avoided her, including me at first. How many noticed the struggle trapped inside her and only then felt pain for her? She tried so hard.


Some people have extra spirit or force of will.

Have been wondering how the adaptive waveskier would deal with a capsize… Pretty inspiring:

The dude is a waveski champ! He can seriously stoke:

Surf paddle on!