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World Para Surfing Championship draws surfers from across the globe

Posted at 6:35 PM, Dec 08, 2021

The World Para Surfing Championship held its second day of competition Wednesday in Pismo Beach.

Sam Bloom was among those competing in the women's para surf prone II division.

She is a two-time World Para Surfing champion from Australia.

Bloom scored an 8.17 on her first wave and an 8.33 on her second wave, putting her in first place after the qualifying round and qualifying her for the finals.

"Our game plan is trying to get one wave and just get the feel of it," Bloom explained. "Oh, it was a bit hectic out there today. It was a bit rough and windy and cold and so much fun at the same time."

Bloom is paralyzed from the chest down. She rides the waves by placing herself at the front of the board, using her arms to move through the water.

She says this method allows her to zip around the waves, getting the most out of her rides.

"I love it, actually. It's like, it sounds strange but it's like the only time of the year I kinda feel normal, you know what I mean? [Because] everybody has a story, everyone has challenges and whatnot and then you come here and it's just the best. It's the best vibe. Everyone is so stoked, it's unreal. I love it," Bloom said.

The 2021 ISA World Para Surfing Championship will continue all week with the finals on Saturday.

More than 120 adaptive surfers from around the world are scheduled to take part in the event, competing in multiple classes including standing, kneeling, sitting, prone, and vision impairment.

"We're really happy with the way it's gone so far," said Robert Fasulo, International Surfing Association Executive Director. "We've been blessed with some beautiful weather, the waves are solid and growing so as we look toward the end of the week, the conditions are going to continue to improve."

The action is taking place at the Pismo Beach Pier, or you can watch live and catch highlights on the International Surfing Association's website.

Bloom's story of recovery after the accident that left her paralyzed was the inspiration for the 2020 Netflix film, "Penguin Bloom," starring Naomi Watts.