Our Surf School
Ability Surf runs itinerantly from Lennox Head to Ballina beaches. We are accredited and insured by Surfing Australia and we have a Disability specific surf coaching licence permit from Ballina Shire Council. We meet surfers at the appropriate beach/lake for a surf therapy session. We provide all equipment including: wetsuits, surfboards, life vests and rash shirts for our surfers.
Our Individualised Sessions
We primarily offer individualised 1:1 surf therapy sessions for optimal skill development and to develop an understanding of the surfer, their needs and abilities. We program and tailor the sessions to the individual in a 1:1 safe and supportive environment.
Initial sessions occur in still water locations (Lake Ainsworth or Shaws Bay) to enhance skill development and rapport building in a more predictable sensory environment than the open beach.
Surf therapy sessions occur on the beach when the surfer is ready for this transition to a more unpredictable environment. Our initial session is 1.25hr in length, thereafter our sessions are 1hr.
Our Social Skills Sessions
We offer small social skills surfing groups for those surfers who have transitioned from individualised 1:1 sessions. This is based on their goals, needs as well as staff availability.
School Holiday Programs
We currently offer siblings and parents school holiday programs to individuals already connected in with our program. We plan to offer school holiday programs for people on our waitlist in the future.
We are open for sessions in school term Wed- Sat. During school term we have increased availability. We currently have a waitlist, however, we are doing our best to meet the demand for our service in the community. You can complete a referral form (link to referral form) to put a participant on our waitlist.
Safety & Risks
We strive to provide a surfing experience which is safe and risks are minimised. We adhere to Work Health and Safety and a thorough Risk Management Plan. We also complete venue analysis of each session and surfing conditions/ location as well as a Surfer Risk assessment prior to the initial session to ensure it is safe for us to offer the surf therapy session to the individual. Although it is our vision to provide a surfing experience to all people, at this stage we are only able to offer lessons to people with a mild-moderate disability as per our Individual Risk Assessment.
Unfortunately, we are limited by staffing capacity and equipment to ensure people with more complex physical and intellectual disabilities can experience surfing safely. However, we do ask that you still contact us if you wish to surf as we will do our best to find solutions and to link you up with services which may have the capacity to take you surfing if we are unable to.
We will request for life jackets to be worn for people who are not competent swimmers for the initial surfing experience. For people who would like to engage in ongoing surf therapy we recommend they are competent swimmers first. We can link you up with swimming lessons which are appropriate for you.
Carer / Parent Involvement & Capacity Building
We require the surfer’s carer or parent to be present during the surf lesson and to assist when required. It is the surfer or their carers responsibility to ensure sunscreen has been applied to the surfer prior to the lesson (20 mins prior).
Prices & Payment
Therapy sessions can be paid for privately or through self-managed or plan managed NDIS packages and can be accessed through Core Support or Capacity Building funds. Please contact Emma for session prices.
We can’t wait to share a wonderful surfing and ocean experience with you!
Please get in touch via our contact form or call
0493 070 121 to chat to our friendly team.