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Veteran tests out prosthetic leg designed for surfing

Posted at 6:24 PM, Jun 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-25 21:46:11-04

A Texas veteran hit the waves in Morro Bay Tuesday morning with a specially-designed prosthetic limb created by students at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.

Kyle Kelly lost his lower right leg to a roadside bomb in Iraq. Surfing is a type of therapy for him, but his current prosthetic leg has some limitations.

Van Curaza, owner of Operation Surf Camp, a program that helps veterans learn how to surf, turned to Cal Poly for help. Last fall, a group of students began working to create a prosthetic leg with increased ankle mobility for surfing.

“I think it is great that we can finally get someone to test it,” said student Caroline Swanson. “And it is a prototype so, you know, we are students, we spent a lot of time and worked hard on this but there is always improvements.”

“It is cool that I got to test that out and it is something that I think if improved on, it really is going to change the way that amputees are out surfing,” Kelly said.

The students involved were part of the Quality of Life Plus (QL+) program, which was created to tackle the types of challenges faced by wounded veterans.