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Organization dedicated to surf therapy opens world HQ in Shell Beach

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Posted at 10:57 PM, May 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-06 03:00:23-04

An organization dedicated to surf therapy is expanding operations on the Central Coast.  

AmpSurf’s new world headquarters opened in Shell Beach on Friday, and the building is much more than just a surf shop.

It will serve as a para-surfing training ground to help athletes get comfortable on a surfboard before they get in the ocean.  

Getting on a surfboard and catching a wave offers a sense of freedom and excitement for amputees or anyone with a physical disability.  

“Some are born with it, they’re paddling out one-armed or they’re blind,” said AmpSurf Volunteer Marjorie Hurd.

For 20 years, AmpSurf has been helping people with disabilities discover a new passion for surfing while offering them a global platform to compete.  

“Last year, we had 130 competitors here from 30 countries,” said AmpSurf President and Founder Dana Cummings.

Pismo Beach hosted the international para-surfing championship in December.

Now, the city is home to the non-profit’s new global headquarters located in the heart of Shell Beach.  

“It’s just a new expansion for us. We’ve been working out of a little tiny spot that’s been donated to us for the last 10 years and everything’s been stored in sheds and stuff like that,” explained Cummings.

the much larger building will make it easier to coordinate and run supplies to events up and down the entire California coast.  

“it’s like we’ve grown up. We’re adults now,” said Hurd. “We’re not living out of a van and unpacking it in the dark at 6 a.m. in December. ”

The new headquarters come with a surf simulator to help athletes get ready for the real thing.  

“A lot of people who have these kinds of conditions maybe think that surfing is out of the question or it’s not possible or a little scary,” said volunteer Melodie Grubbs. “So, it’s really a friendly environment to learn and experience something new. ”

The global headquarters are just blocks from the ocean and a short drive to plenty of surf spots.  

“It’s shell beach. It’s pristine. it’s beautiful,” said Cummings. “The community has been part of our blood for the last 20 years. ”

AmpSurf will be offering summer surf camps on the first and third Saturday of every month this summer and the classes are for youth of all abilities.