ABOUT2019-05-04T06:47:52-07:00
Our Story

Our Story

A Walk On Water (“AWOW”) provides Surf Therapy to children with special needs or disability. The ocean’s transformative properties empower our participants, who enjoy a much-deserved day of laughter, love, and acceptance alongside their family. For one perfect, restorative day at the beach, there are no labels. Everyone is an Athlete.

AWOW works closely with our local communities, businesses, volunteers and watermen — brought together in service of a shared mission — to help those most in need experience the calming and therapeutic effects of the electrifying, living ocean; and, in the process, showcase the best of surf culture.

Since launching in 2012, AWOW has welcomed over 1,000 families and provided Surf Therapy to over 2,000 children and adults in need. Our mission is to reach every child in need, especially those who have never had the chance to experience the healing power of Surf Therapy. Donations to A Walk On Water go directly to hosting additional events in new locales, serving ever more Athletes in need.

Surf therapy is the act of guided surf instruction — provided by expertly trained Surf Therapists — in concert with a carefully constructed support structure of volunteers and supporters; it truly takes a village. AWOW Athletes gain confidence through the magical thrill of a walk on water, experiencing the true “stoke” of surfing and a sense of pride and accomplishment — all while being cheered on by family and friends. Siblings (and even parents!) surf alongside the Athlete, allowing the family to bond over a powerful shared experience. At the end of the day, each Athlete is presented with the trophy they earned in front of all their cheering fans.

AWOW Surf Therapy is more than just surfing: the entire family unit is treated to a well-deserved day of respite, complete with healthy food and drink, live music, art, yoga, and more.The letters we receive from families after a day of Surf Therapy tell us all we need to know:

     “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would see my child surf!”

     “The volunteers who are truly angels on earth have become like family!”

     “Our little family was loved and supported beyond what I could have ever anticipated.”

     “We went from sensory overload on the road (to a surf therapy event) to our son taking his noise reducing headphones off on the way back home.”

     “Noah returned to preschool the next week and was different. He was calm. He was participating. He was happy.”

     “Surf therapy is wonderful, and it works!”

AWOW Surf Therapy events are held across the United States, with the majority taking place in Southern California. Current, prospective, and past locations include: Austin, TX; Cardiff, CA; Huntington Beach, CA; Malibu, CA; Montauk, NY; Oceanside, CA; San Clemente, CA; San Diego, CA; Santa Barbara, CA; Santa Cruz, CA; Santa Monica, CA; Spring Lake, NJ; Venice, CA; Ventura, CA; and Virginia Beach, VA.

Events run March to November, and are subject to safe surf conditions. The therapeutic benefit of Surf Therapy has been shown to multiply with increased frequency of attendance, so Athletes are encouraged to attend as many Surf Therapy experiences as possible each year.

AWOW has set an audacious goal to reach over 1,000 children in need through Surf Therapy in 2018, and over 1,500 per year by 2020.

Sign up, donate, or learn more at www.awalkonwater.org

A Walk On Water - We Are Surf Therapy

Surf Therapy

Surf Therapy is defined as a form of water therapy whereby the participant is introduce to the ocean and surfing through guided surf instruction, either tandem surfing with an instructor on the same board, or surfing solo with close instructor oversight. Surf Therapy has been shown to have myriad positive effects, including

  • Increased self-confidence and pride from successfully accomplishing a sometimes scary goal
  • Improved interaction with peers and adults through the positive, supportive AWOW environment

Children experience the true “stoke” of surfing and a sense of accomplishment as family and friends cheer them on from the beach. Brothers and sisters also participate, helping to solidify an often strained bond between siblings. Our surf events focus on both the athletes and their families, who are treated to a well-deserved day of relaxation, healthy food, and lifestyle guidance.

Team AWOW

Team AWOW

A WALK ON WATER provides Surf Therapy to individuals with special needs.

We do this by hosting Surf Therapy events that celebrate and honor courageous kids, adults and their families. For one beautiful day at the beach, there are no labels. Everyone is an athlete.

The goal of Surf Therapy is for the athletes to feel the thrill and confidence that only “A Walk On Water” can provide. Their families are fully supported and cared for as they share a much deserved day of fun, relaxation, and respite.

We work closely with the local community, businesses and its volunteers and waterman. It is a true collaboration of like-minded individuals brought together in service of a shared mission – to help others experience the calming and therapeutic effects of the electrifying, living ocean and in the process showcase the best of surf culture.

AWOW’s extensive list of partners, along with our structure and volunteer base, bring each Surf Therapy event to life and facilitate an overwhelmingly positive experience for everyone who attends.

Surf Therapy healing us all!

Testimonials

HAPPIEST EVER, HANDS DOWN

May 6th, 2019|

My son did his first ever surf therapy with A Walk on Water in Malibu last weekend. He absolutely loved it, it was the happiest I had seen him ever, hands down. My husband, who is quite concerned about athletics and our son getting hurt, was super secure with the entire day. Seeing our son ride the waves actually brought tears to my husband. We were in awe of the love and care all of the volunteers and surfers had for our whole family. I enjoyed getting a haircut on the beach considering it’s so hard to even plan something like that for me with our family dynamic. I think it was the first time that I felt special/normal and part of a community since the diagnosis. It was just a great day. Thank you so much!

-Anupama

SINGING THE ABC’S

May 6th, 2019|

This was everything I thought it would be and more! From the excellent communication prior to the event that helped us be organized and ready to go, to the warm welcome at check in. Volunteers were aplenty and always smiling, reassuring and excited to be there. The vibe was relaxed and positive which reduced the anxiety and sensory overload. While Henry was nervous about the initial experience, the beach support to get him on the board with Cheeets was amazing. Taking the suggestion to sing the ABC’s with Hens, Cheeets quickly paddled out to begin their bond. Team Henry grew over the weekend. To see the genuine support from the AWOW family left our hearts full and thankful. We look forward to another trip across the desert to our new surf spot in the BU.

-Eric

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Join the A WALK ON WATER Family

By joining the AWOW Family you are forever changing the lives of families in need, and we welcome you to join us to personally witness the effect of your donation at an AWOW Surf Therapy event near you. Thank you for your donation.

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