It was only recently that this clip entered the interwebz: Derek Rabelo surfing “Pipe”, blind!

However, less recently a case report of a telescopic aid for surfing in the case of a young European male with sudden onset of visual impairment was presented, back in 1996:

Health care of patients with low vision requires a multidisciplinary approach and extends from acquisition of vocational, mobility, and daily living skills to taking part in recreation and leisure. Optometric treatment plays a role in this multidisciplinary approach.

The patient (and surfer) in this case was accidentally shot in the face, causing perforation of the left eye which was removed later. The right eye received damage to the optic nerve and was saved. The main request was for a “hands-free”, affordable, waterproof, and floating telescope to enable him to see wave sets coming in to the beach.

A monocular telescope mounted into a diving mask faceplate, located on the right eye, was customized. The entire telescope was enclosed with a custom-made waterproof Plexiglas container.

The patient was advised to familiarize himself with the device, working step-up from watching television and walking on land, to swimming and sitting on a surfboard in a pool. Eventually he obtained the skill and confidence to go surfing.

After some adjustments following the first few times surfing, the patient eventually had used the surfing telescope on over 200 occasions for up to 3 hours per session. After a six year break of surfing that is.

To see how the device looks like, please follow:, for full text (not free available).

Glad this particular surfer was able to practice his beloved surf, but maybe we, Surfing Doctors, can help more people by setting up initiatives like this?

Who would be up for that?


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