Myrtle Beach man crafts adaptive surfboards to make surfing accessible to all
Todd Sutz of the Island Inspired Board Company has handcrafted nearly 100 adaptive surfboards for various types of disabilities.
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WPDE) — "I love it. It's my favorite thing in the world to do. It makes me happier than anything I can do," said Brock Johnson.
But the surfer high was stolen from Brock.
"I had an accident about eight years ago and I fractured my neck and ended up quadriplegic," he said.
However, where there’s a will - and a willing surfboard shaper - there’s a way.
Brock is back in the water, thanks to a specially crafted surfboard.
He can lay down and it has handles for him and his helpers.
"This has been one of the most challenging things I've ever done as far as a craftsman and surfboard builder," said Todd Sutz, Island Inspired Board Company. "They require different things that we have to invent."
Sutz has handcrafted nearly 100 adaptive surfboards for various types of disabilities.
"We jam his elbows in here and he has to wrap his hands around here so he doesn't fall off the board," Sutz explains about one of the adaptive surfboards.
For people who have little or no mobility, surfing is now possible.
"It makes me feel good to do it for them," said Sutz. "I love watching them in the water."
"Whereas on land when I'm confined to a wheelchair," said Brock, "when I'm out there I'm in control and it just feels like freedom."
"It's been life changing for all of us," said Sutz.
Changing the world one board at a time.
The Adaptive Surf Project needs volunteers for Wheel to Surf events.
There's an event Sunday, June 30 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. by the Cherry Grove Pier.