Finally, it is a dream come true for one British schoolboy. Thirteen-year-old Kai Lewis, who hails from the southern Welsh town of Port Talbot and happens to be differently-abled, recently took to the sea riding on a specially-adapted surfboard.
The new surfboard invention, which enables differently-abled kids to ride the waves in a seated position, offered Kai a rare lifetime opportunity to actualize his long-held dream of surfing, leaving him all smiles and laughing with joy.
It was the first time that the seated surfboard model was being tested in a real surfing environment. Kai was he lucky kid along for its maiden test-surf. The specially-built surfboard was designed and created by a team of product design university academics, graduates, and students from the University of Wales Trinity St Davids’ to give kids like Kai a chance to f 2438 eel the freedom and enjoyment of sea surfing.
The surfboard is balanced to enable a child to sit in a bucket-like seat as he or she rides the waves with a trained adult surfer.
Following the successful test, the researchers believe that many more kids who utilize wheelchairs can spend time out in the seas and feel how others might on the crest of a wave.
Kai’s mom, Leanne Lewis, could not hide her joy and pride in seeing her son so happy, saying that the new invention will from now allow her son to sit back, relax, and enjoy a ride he would have never otherwise experienced. She added that it is amazing how the special surfboard opens up so many options. And not just for her son Kai, but for other children who are living with a disability.
Kai Lewis’ own disability arises from the fact that he had a cerebral palsy diagnosis following a severe stroke that crippled him at the age of just one. However, none of this deterred Kai from his day on the waves.
Dr. Ross Head, who was the product design manager of this research project, was also very happy with the outcome, saying that his team was very pleased with their new product, as well as the good surf conditions on the day of the test -- including the weather -- that made the entire process quite a successful (ad)venture for all.
Image source: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/