Surf Dog Ricochet: Canine Ambassador for Surfers with Disabilities

Surfing dog and veterans with PTSD help kids with disabilities catch waves of empowerment

Ricochet has been providing therapeutic assistance and creating unique surfing experiences for kids and adults with disabilities for over seven years. In that time, there have been numerous life-saving and life-changing transformations in the people that she has helped. Those transformations led to an organic evolution with Ricochet’s newest program called Waves of Empowerment (WOE).

The WOE program is about inspiring and empowering kids with special needs, people with disabilities and military with physical and emotional challenges like PTSD to help themselves by helping others. These individuals are now volunteering to assist new people with disabilities who want to surf with Ricochet. The interactions in the water or on the beach cultivate renewed spirits and a sense of purpose for both the participants and volunteers.

​Everyone involved is developing relationships with each other as they are working side-by-side. They tend to start interacting more, their social skills improve and their compassion & empathy are enhanced. Safety is of utmost importance and there is always seasoned instructors in the water that have years of experience and expertise in adaptive surfing. ​Siblings of participants are a big part of the program, and offering them volunteer opportunities keeps them involved, active and an essential member of the team. When kids are are allowed to help other kids surf with Ricochet, it gives them a sense of worth. Their self-confidence blossoms and their accomplishments are endless.

​Ricochet always offers an abundance of love and paws-on healing during these surf sessions. She knows what each individiual needs and provides it. Personal tragedies are turned to triumphs through the healing power of the ocean, and the healing power of a dog.

​Although not every military participant or volunteer has fought in war, they have all fought health battles. Active duty service member or veteran who would like to volunteer to help Ricochet surf with kids who have special needs are always welcome.

In addition to veteran and disabled volunteers, the organization is always looking for water men and women, photographers, videographers, cheerleaders and friends. ​Children of our volunteers are encouraged to help out, too. They assist at the shoreline, catching the board when it comes in, and screaming cheers of encouragement.

Learn more at SurfDogRicochet.com.

Ricochet always offers an abundance of love and paws-on healing during these surf sessions. She knows what each individiual needs and provides it. Personal tragedies are turned to triumphs through the healing power of the ocean, and the healing power of a dog.

Ricochet always offers an abundance of love and paws-on healing during these surf sessions. She knows what each individiual needs and provides it. Personal tragedies are turned to triumphs through the healing power of the ocean, and the healing power of a dog.

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In September 2016, Ricochet hosted a surf session at La Jolla Shores in San Diego. Individuals who volunteered were matched one-on-one with new participants who are also disabled. Ten year old West has autism and first surfed with Ricochet in 2013. He used to be afraid of water and dogs until Ricochet helped him overcome his fears. He was matched with Adaptive Jim who recently lost his leg in a motorcycle accident.

Every 65 minutes a veteran with PTSD takes their life by suicide. We are dedicated to improving the lives of our physically and emotionally wounded war heroes. Military service members like Esther volunteer to be on the water team to help K9 assisted surfers like Alesha. This responsibility fosters trust and gives them both a sense of connection to each other and the team.

Every 65 minutes a veteran with PTSD takes their life by suicide. The organization is dedicated to improving the lives of physically and emotionally wounded war heroes. Military service members like Esther volunteer to be on the water team to help K9 assisted surfers like Alesha who has cerebral palsy. This responsibility fosters trust and gives them both a sense of connection to each other and the team.

One of the effects of PTSD and other disabilities is social isolation. The organization provides a safe environment where participants and volunteers are embraced with an abundance of compassion, encouragement and positivity. So much so, that service members Amy and her husband were eager for their two year old son to surf with Ricochet.

One of the effects of PTSD and other disabilities is social isolation. The organization provides a safe environment where participants and volunteers are embraced with an abundance of compassion, encouragement and positivity. So much so, that service members Amy and her husband were eager for their two year old son to surf with Ricochet.

Six year old Sasha has autism. Kids with special needs typically have an adult supervising them at all times. But when they surf with Ricochet, it’s often the first time they’ve done something completely on their own, which can be very empowering for them.

Six year old Sasha has autism. Kids with special needs typically have an adult supervising them at all times. But when they surf with Ricochet, it’s often the first time they’ve done something completely on their own, which can be very empowering for them.

 

 

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  1. Ear to the Ground | Adventure Sports Journal - […] more about Surf Dog Ricochet in our article here and learn more about Superpower Dogs at […]

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