yellow pages news jobs local specials coupons hotels events calendar movie times RSS News Feeds
Rocklin and Roseville Today
   |   Current Temp: 41.0 F (5.0 C)

Blind Surfer Inspires Surfing Professionals

In 1992, a Brazilian father named his newborn son "Derek" after professional surfer Derek Ho. He hoped his son would become a professional surfer. At the time, Brazil was emerging as a professional surfing powerhouse. But the father's dream quickly faded after learning his son had been born completely blind.

However, seventeen years later, and after never having surfed, that son, blind Derek Rabelo, wanted to learn surfing and ultimately surf Pipeline in Hawaii, perhaps the world's most challenging waves. It took Derek three years to learn how to surf.

"You can just imagine the difficulty Derek had learning how to keep his balance, which is important in surfing," said Craig James, spokesperson for the upcoming movie "Beyond Sight," which will be released this spring and star 20-year-old Derek Rabelo. "Derek had strength training and upper-body conditioning to enable him to paddle out into the waves. Then he had to learn how to get through the break in the waves. When you're able to see a wave and it's breaking, you do what is called a duck dive and push your board down into the water to go underneath the wave. There's not only strength involved, but also timing. Derek had to learn to anticipate the wave by sound and by the feel of the water."

Derek surfed Pipeline in February 2012, and the Youtube video documenting his feat has received over 500,000 hits. (To watch, type in "Blind Surfer Derek Rabelo Surfing Pipe.") Next, last summer, American film producer Bryan Jennings ("Soul Surfer" with Bethany Hamilton) befriended Derek and asked to make a movie of Derek's life.

What happened next defies description. Said James, "(Nearly all) the top athletes in professional surfing wanted to be part of the film even though they wouldn't get paid. So you have in the film seven current Association of Surfing Professionals tour surfers and ten surfing legends including Kelly Slater, Tom Curren, Laird Hamilton, and Rob Machado. The impact of this movie is that these extremely famous people in surfing have asked to be part of this film. They want to be around (Derek) because he inspires them. It's hard enough to surf, but to do it blind on the most difficult waves in the world is amazing."

James said the movie tagline reflects Rabelo's lifelong Christian faith: "A True Champion Lives by Faith, Not by Sight."


LittleGiantFudge.com and Palmer Bus Service make this column possible.

Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.

Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com



Placer County News Headlines

Big DoG Countdown: Child Advocates of Placer CountyBig DoG Countdown: Learn how the Child Advocates of Placer County impacts your community.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: An Affordable Compact SUVWhen shopping for a Mitsubishi Outlander, note that there's quite a major difference between the "standard" Outlander and the Outlander Sport.

If the Government Takes Your Money Illegally, Shouldn't You Get it Back?Did you know, if the State of California takes your money in the form of an illegal tax or fee, you might not be able to get it back?

Loomis Soroptimist Club Celebrates 40 Years of ServiceSoroptimist International of Loomis Basin (SILB) celebrated its 40th Birthday with over 60 attendees on April 16 at Venita Rhea's in Rocklin, CA

Janette Moynier receives Community First Award In recognition of her outstanding volunteer spirit in 2013, First Bank's Janette Moynier received a First Bank CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) Community First Award.

New Kinesiology Program at William Jessup William Jessup University, the Sacramento area's only residential four-year private university, has selected Dr. Scott Roberts to serve as Lead Faculty to the growing university's new Kinesiology

West Nile Virus Season Begins in Placer CountyThe Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District (PMVCD) announces the official beginning of the season during West Nile virus and Mosquito and Vector Control Awareness

Big DoG Countdown: Sierra College FoundationBig DoG Countdown: Learn how the Sierra College Foundation impacts your community.

Disabilities: Luongo Has Miracle SurgeryOn Good Friday 2013, then 39-year-old Nicole Luongo of Plantation, Florida, took a step of faith. She'd had cerebral palsy since birth, had significant difficulty walking her entire life

Advice on Getting Through the DroughtDrought Watch: Linda Yager, who manages the PCWA's water efficiency program, says there are many available resources to help people save water. "Many people ask what they can do to save water," said Yager. "Here are some of the best ways to save

Surging Gas Prices Hurting ConsumersAverage retail gasoline prices in Sacramento have risen 7.3 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $4.03/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 720 gas outlets in Sacramento

Spring Band Invitational Concert April 23 in RocklinThe Sierra College Music Department is proud to present a Spring Band Invitational Concert on Wednesday, April 23rd, 7:30pm in Dietrich Theatre on the Sierra College Rocklin


more news