Press Release from ADG/EpicSurf:
February 6, 2023 (Cohoes, NY) Aquatic Development Group (ADG) is proud to announce their deep-water stationary surf wave EpicSurf®, has been granted the title of a ‘Certified Autism Resource’ by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), furthering EpicSurf’s ability to bring the healing power and joy of surfing to people of ALL abilities including those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
EpicSurf® is a deep-water stationary surf wave made with a real wave of water. Unlike sheet wave technology, this true deep-water wave brings a customizable real surfing experience to guests of all abilities. From beginners learning to surf, to experts perfecting their tricks and turns, to adaptive programming and surf therapy, EpicSurf’s real wave surfing provides the ideal platform for creating the ultimate surf experience.
Surf therapy is currently an outlet for those with ASD, however surf therapy is not something readily available to most people. Whether the hurdle be geographical, financial, cost to travel, barrier of entry, not knowing how to swim, parental fears of safety, sharks, environmental factors – surf therapy is not always a feasible opportunity. EpicSurf and manmade surf machines are bringing surfing inland, making this form of therapy more accessible and inclusive to people of all abilities.
“Surf simulation offers tremendous potential to people without access to the ocean, said Kris Primacio, CEO, International Surf Therapy Organization, “I like to describe wave pools and surf machines as the ‘wellness centers of the future’.”
There are several reasons EpicSurf is a valuable experience to those with ASD, some of which are outlined below:
Consistency. EpicSurf is a consistent wave of water, meaning that the wave never changes. This predictability and repetition of the wave is an invaluable asset to those with ASD and not something the ocean can provide.
Rhythmic Sensation. For individuals that suffer with sensory overload, the crashing of the water can be very calming and provide a rhythmic sensation. The feeling of being immersed in or next to water allows the surfer to feel calm and ease anxiety.
Safety Concerns. EpicSurf has been designed with safety redundancies for the surfer and the parent’s piece of mind, including a quick stop/start button to quickly drain the wave dry in a matter of seconds, rapid wave adjustability to raise and lower the height of the wave to customize the experience for each surfer and their skill level, retractable training bars for support and balance, and adjustable pumps where the volume of the wave can be adjusted in order to allow instructors, therapists and trainers to stand in the wave and support the surfer.
Comradery & Social Interactions. One way that ASD is treated is through Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) which is a method to motivate the individual to participate and have shared social interactions. EpicSurf provides the surfer with a sense of belonging, comradery as other surfers cheer you on, and a bond with the instructors and/or therapists due to the compact footprint and intimacy of the interactions. This sense of community formed around surfing, and sense of accomplishment during a skill-based activity is something that provides social skills, solutions on how to react and speak to fellow surfers, a shared common interest, and the ability to practice these skills in a structured environment.
“The proximity of coaches and spectators to the riders makes verbal communication while riding possible. The set up lends itself well to group therapy and team building in the sense that everyone is cheering on the rider,” said Justin Speegle, Surfer, Veteran, AMPSurf Board Member. “The surfer bond is one of the things that makes ocean surfing therapy successful but even when a group goes surfing together, the ride experience is not easily shared. This set up completely changes that.”
EpicSurf is bringing surfing to people of all abilities around the world. The wave and surf pool movement is something that is going to change the world and their access to the sport of surfing, and with the influx of countries around the world utilizing surfing as a form of therapy for PTSD, depression, anxiety, ASD, and other treatments, having a surf wave in a compact footprint that can fit in the size of a tennis court like EpicSurf– will make this form of non-prescription treatment more readily available to the masses.
We are passionate about growing the sport, passion and joy of surfing and are looking forward to utilizing our wave technology to improve the lives of many including those with autism. We are honored to have received the CAR certification from the IBCCES and look forward to bringing EPIC surf experiences as a form of therapy and fun for those with ASD and beyond!