Discover the Basque Country

Surfing with Aitor, Derek, Axi & Friends

Yesterday something special in the waves that had arrived from across the ocean brought people together, new friends. Among the waves of Zarautz, Derek Rabelo and Aitor Francesena, who surf without sight, taught us something incredibly important.

Derek’s friend and professional surf photographer Bruno Lemos snapped the action from the shore as Aitor’s former surf student Axi Muniain, now a professional surfer, guided Derek and Aitor onto waves.  A group of new friends blind-folded themselves to glimpse, or rather perceive, the experience of the blind men every time they paddle out. The sound, the crash of waves, learning how to duck dive, listening to friends’ instructions—surfing without sight becomes a completely new experience. One blindfolded surfer said, “I felt disorientated and surrounded by the crashing waves, it was terrifying!”

And in those moments of connecting and experiencing, we learned that what is often viewed as a “dis-ability” is actually an amazing ability to bring people together and to inspire us through life.

SurfBoard Zarautz EITB A wipe-out yesterday in ZarautzJoseba ZarautzJoseba Attard, founder of Cross Culture Surf, learning what it feels like, not looks like, to surfGallo Surf Zarautz Aitor Francesena “Gallo”, former trainer of Aritz Aranburu & Axi MuniainDerek Gallo Zarautz EITBDerek and Aitor enjoying the same waveAxi EITBAxi Muniain capturing the action on video as he guides Aitor onto the waves

Words & Photo Editing: Jonathan McCallum 

Photography by Renee Jenner

See the EITB news video here

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