**Surfing: Riding Waves to Mental Wellness**

Surfing isn’t just a sport; for many, it’s a lifeline. And for survivors of brain injuries, it’s nothing short of a miracle. Recent research from Swansea University sheds light on how catching waves can significantly boost the well-being of stroke and brain injury survivors. But what is it about surfing that makes it such a powerful therapy tool?

For Dave Jones, a brain injury survivor, surfing initially seemed like an unlikely avenue for therapy. As a self-proclaimed “petrolhead,” the idea of hitting the waves didn’t immediately resonate with him. However, after catching his first wave, he experienced a surge of euphoria that he describes as “everything.” It was a moment of acceleration, of feeling “normal” again in the midst of his journey to recovery.

Similarly, Tony Jenkins, undergoing rehabilitation for a brain injury, expresses gratitude for the “phenomenal” staff at Ty Aberdafen, a specialist center in Carmarthenshire. Their support and guidance have enabled him to rediscover a sense of freedom and positivity amidst his recovery journey.

Graham Hill’s story adds another layer to the transformative power of physical activity post-brain injury. Once an avid cyclist, Graham’s life took a drastic turn when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Surgery left him struggling with balance and mobility, seemingly ending his cycling days. However, through the Pedal Power Cycling Club, Graham found renewed hope and freedom. Dr. Jonathan McCrea of Brain Injury Matters emphasizes the profound impact of witnessing individuals reclaim their independence through cycling, shedding their walking frames and embracing newfound freedom.

But it’s not just brain injury survivors who benefit from the therapeutic power of the sea. Projects like Tonic in Ceredigion are harnessing the healing potential of surfing to support individuals with mental health challenges. By immersing themselves in the sea and embracing the exhilaration of riding waves, participants experience a profound sense of well-being and empowerment.

The sea has long been revered for its calming and rejuvenating effects on the mind and body. As Wales celebrates its first eco-therapy conference, initiatives like Tonic underscore the importance of nature-based interventions in promoting mental wellness. Surf therapy, with its blend of physical activity, connection to nature, and sense of achievement, exemplifies the healing potential of the ocean - or as some call it, the “Blue Gym.”

In a world where mental health support is increasingly crucial, surfing emerges as more than just a recreational activity. It becomes a powerful tool for resilience, healing, and restoration. As we ride the waves of life, let’s not forget the transformative potential of catching a wave and finding solace in the sea.


This is truly inspiring! It’s amazing to see how surfing is making such a positive impact on the lives of brain injury survivors and individuals facing mental health challenges. Ive heard of horse-riding therapy and apparently its very effective! Have you tried or considered alternative therapies like surfing for well-being? What activities bring you a sense of healing and empowerment?


oh wow, I did not know they were doing this back home in Wales! I actually experienced this myself over the summer which is crazy… I’d been feeling quite lost when I stopped swimming before summer, and I took up surfing and honestly it made me feel so so happy, so can definitely resonate with how something as simple as catching a wave can bring about feelings of euphoria, freedom, and normalcy!


A very inspiring and interesting initiative!


It’s amazing to see how something as simple as surfing can bring back a sense of normalcy and joy amidst the journey of recovery. Truly inspiring stuff!!


Very interesting! Amaya (any other Liverpool students) I would recommend checking out Formby, Crosby & West Kirby, all great seaside towns within an hour of the city, that are great spots for a walk or a dip in the sea!


Im planning on doing my research project on how exercise can help manage pain, so I will defiantly be looking at loads of this form of “alternative” methods, very exciting !!

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That amazing to hear first hand your experience


Formby is indeed so lovely

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cant wait to read it!!

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