I’m not sure how many people out there know about this wonderful and amazing story, whether it is known overseas or just in Australia.
In the town of Elliston just a short drive from my hometown of Port Lincoln in South Australia, there is a lovely lady by the name of Pascale Honore who had a car accident some 18 years ago which left her a paraplegic which, you would think, left her dreams of surfing shattered. Pascale fell in love with the town of Elliston many years ago for the surf and the quiet and relaxing lifestyle, she also loves to watch her kids surf the waves that break on the reef just outside of town. Though she loved watching them it frustrated her immensely that she couldn’t be out there enjoying the surf with them.
Determined not to let her disability get to her, she got on with life but while waiting for the day she would walk again she wondered what to do, then it dawned on her, why not pursue her surfing dream? Thats when Ty, a professional diver and good friend of one of her sons, came up with a plan that would result in Pascale being able to surf thanks to a backpack, a roll of duct tape and a whole lot of courage.
How does this work, well the backpack now has leg holes cut in the bottom for Pascale’s legs, once her legs are in the holes she is lifted onto Ty’s back and another helper winds the duct tape around the pair’s shoulders, waists and legs.
Many people thought they were crazy and offered all kinds of suggestions like practicing with a 45kg backpack first, not a great idea considering it is a dead weight and not buoyant like a person is. They first practiced being towed behind a mate’s jet ski on flat water and found that they could do it, so it was then on to bigger and better things.
Ty and Pascale were strapped together and then on a surfboard they were towed out to the well known Blackfella’s reef break where the surfers in the water at the time, couldn’t quite believe what was going on but soon saw an amazing sight. Ty and Pascale’s first wave was a success, a wonderful memory that neither will ever forget, especially Pascale who remembers looking up and seeing all the colours of the wave above their heads and then feeling as though it was all over too soon.
The fun doesn’t stop there though, they have even been scuba diving together and they have been shark cage diving!
Their next goal is a road trip in an old Toyota Coaster bus with a wheelchair lift, over to the Western Australian coast where pro surfer Ry Craike has promised to tow them into a big wave off Kalbarri. With a new surfboard thanks to Fanatic Surfboards and a duct tape sponsorship, the pair are floating on cloud nine and can’t wait for the big day.
You can follow their amazing story on Facebook by searching Duct Tape Surfing or simply clicking the link, if you are wanting to donate towards their road trip click here and you can take a look at their website which gives a reward for donations. 🙂