Article

THE SPORT OF KINGS Makes Magic Moments for Hawaii's Autistic Children

| posted on July 22, 2010

Over one hundred people showed up for the 3rd Annual Hawaiian Surf Gathering, presented by Surfers Healing March 2nd from 10AM till 4PM at Haleiwa’s Alii Beach Park. The parking lot was full before noon and by the end of the day most of the town had followed the BBQ smell to the event.

The idea is to help Autistic children and their families enjoy a normal day of surfing and beach activities.

Mother Nature did her part by providing clean 1-3 foot surf with light trades under perfect sunny skies.

All are invited to sign-up with no requirements; the gear is provided, including a life vest and a variety of boards complete with professional instructors. These included three-time Pipeline Champ, Jamie O’Brien, 2007 Tow-In Champ Makua Rothman, Jamie Sterling, Kealii Mamala, Derrick Deorner, Garrett McNamara, Rusty Keaulana, Brian Surratt and dozens of other respected watermen and women. O’Brien and Adam Paskowitz made the cover of the Honolulu Star Bulletin tandem surfing with some lucky kids and a dog hanging reluctantly hanging ten.

“I just took out a little girl from Makaha and a bigger boy, he did good. First he was like,’No,no, no way… I’m not going in the water.’ Finally after about 15 minutes with the help of my friend Shawn O’Brien we got him in the water…and we got a wave and he went from No, No, No to Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!” O’Brien said.

“The girl from Makaha was doing great, just running all around the board. I asked her, you wanna go in? And she was like, ‘no’…She caught around 20 waves,” said O’Brien.

“I never went to one before, I had fun, I’m coming again the next time, it’s a rad thing.”

Even a free lunch was provided, thanks to Uncle Jim at Rainbow Drive-in.