2021 dryrobe® English Adaptive Surfing Open Preview - Pegleg Bennett
The 2021 dryrobe® English Adaptive Surfing Open takes place tomorrow (8th July) and we can’t wait! This awesome event will return to The Wave in Bristol for the second year in a row, and will feature some of the world’s best adaptive surfers.
We caught up with dryrobe® ambassador and current Open Standing champion Pegleg Bennett for a quick chat about the event.
How does the 2021 dryrobe® English Adaptive Surfing Open event compare to other adaptive events?
The big difference is we’re guaranteed quality waves. That’s the thing with The Wave at Bristol, you know exactly what you’re going to get - it’s fantastic! Accessibility-wise, life is so much easier, you’re not having to get people across sand. Using the beach has wear and tear issues for wheelchair users - sand and bearings don’t mix!
As a contest arena goes it doesn’t get much better than The Wave. It’s fantastic, there is total control over everything, it’s all-inclusive and accessible. They did an amazing job when they built it.
What will you be doing at the event?
I’m competing in two divisions - the Men's Stand Division and then the Men’s Open. There’s also a ‘come and give it ago session’ in the middle of the day. This is for people who are above beginner level, want to progress their surfing and are maybe thinking about getting competitive, I’m helping out with that as well. Some of the people in the water will need assistance, we’ll be there to cover everyone’s needs, give them some feedback and hopefully help people progress their surfing.
What advice would you give anyone looking to get into surfing?
The biggest bit of advice, and the first rule of surfing, is just to have fun. Go out there and enjoy it!
If you’re looking to get into adaptive surfing then contact Surfing England. They have a list of qualified adaptive instructors (which I am myself) and will be able to point you in the right direction.
Another really good resource is Surfability UK, based at Caswell Bay in Wales. They’re great at getting people in the water, it’s also where we do our qualifications to become adaptive surf instructors. They’re a really good source of information for anyone wanting to get into adaptive surfing.
You’ve surfed and competed all over the world. What’s your favourite break and is there anywhere on your bucket list you’d like to go next?
My favourite place in the world is Lakey Peak in Sumbawa, Indonesia. I just love that wave, from 2ft up to 15ft it’s amazing.
Competition-wise I love the AccesSurf Competition in Hawaii, they hold it at Waikiki. That competition and that break are just lovely, I love it!
Whatever competition I’m in though, wherever I am, if I’m in the ocean I’m happy. For me that’s what it’s all about, being there and being part of the adaptive family because that’s what we are when we meet up at competitions. That’s a big pulling point of it, but then I do love to compete.
We’ll be at The Wave covering the event across our social media channels on Thursday, July 8th, be sure to follow us for regular updates.