Surfing without sight: A lesson in bravery

Parallel Worlds

Sunset Surf

[words by Narina Exelby / photograph © Mark Eveleigh]

The biggest life lessons are often learnt when you least expect them – like, for example, when you’re slurping a banana milkshake on the west coast of Bali.

I was working one morning in a simple beach-side warung – my regular office while Mark catches waves – when a surfer at the table next to me pointed out someone in the water. “You see the guy in the red top, yellow board, wearing helmet?” he asked. I struggled to sip my chunky banana milkshake through the straw while my eyes searched the waves. It was hard to see the guy – the waves were pretty big. Eventually, when I spotted him, the surfer said “He’s blind.”

Yes, totally blind.

It turns out the man I was watching, a Brazilian, was once a really talented surfer who lost his sight in a…

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