Andre Souza, a 33-year-old who was paralyzed from the waist down in a motorcycle accident, had never surfed before he chanced upon AdaptSurf. Now, he hopes to enter Guinness World Records as the disabled surfer who has spent the most time on a wave. While the typical disabled surfer spends an average of about 10 to 15 seconds on any given wave, Souza last year spent slightly more than three minutes riding an apororoca, a giant wave that sweeps up rivers in the Amazon region.
“The first time I caught a wave I can only describe as the happiest moment in my life,” Souza said. “It’s the place where I feel the most freedom I’ve experienced since my accident. All day long, all night long, you are literally a prisoner in your chair, in your bed, in your body. I don’t have words to describe the sensation of liberty I feel on my surfboard.”