Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Local Jobs |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin & Roseville Today Local Events

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."


Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod.

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

Estate Planning Workshop in Granite Bay June 2Roseville, CA- Come out for an informative seminar with Bill Walker to learn how about smart estate planning on Thursday, June 2, 2016.

Roseville Ride: Miner's Ravine Trail Roseville, CA- A great place to go solo or bring the family, Miner's Ravine Trail offers a great escape for those looking to get away without the hassle or cost of a more time consuming adventure.

3 Arrested in West Roseville Vehicle TheftsRoseville, CA- Kevin Patrick McFarland, Maksim Mishchenko, and Stanislav M. Taran, were arrested on suspicion of stealing from numerous vehicles in Roseville.

Annual Marysville Stampede Memorial Day WeekendMarysville, CA- An annual celebration of California Western and rodeo heritage, in the heart of California's cowboy country, the 83rd Annual Marysville Stampede

Downtown Woodland: Unexpected TreasureWoodland, CA- On a recent Sunday afternoon, I grabbed my wife and headed off on a rather short drive to Woodland to catch an afternoon show at the Blue Note Brewing Company.

Roseville Flash Crime Report (5.23.16)Roseville police crime report digest update for May 23, 2016.

Local Team Wins Spirit CUP at SMUD Solar RegattaRocklin, CA- The Sierra College Solar Energy program Team competed last Saturday May 14th in the Northern California SMUD Solar Regatta

Roseville Area Organization Helps Guardian Scholars ProgramRoseville, CA- Sierra College Guardian Scholars Program thanks the ALPHA DELTA KAPPA Organization for their generous donation to our Former Foster Youth

Placer County Water Agency Master Plan UpdateAUBURN, Calif. - At its May 19 meeting, the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors received an update on the PCWA County-wide Master Plan.

Subaru BRZ: Reasonably priced old-school sports carRoseville, CA - For driving enthusiasts who want to own a light, agile car that provides an elusive fun factor while also looking cool, the smartly designed Subaru BRZ deserves a good look.

Roseville Gas Prices See DropRoseville, CA - While regional gas prices appear to have held steady, some gas station in Roseville are reporting a downward tick in prices.

Raising Awareness for Mental HealthIn the U.S., the month of May is (or was, depending on when your newspaper publishes this column) "Mental Health Awareness Month."


more news