Myrtle Beach man hopes to compete in World Adaptive Surf Championship

MYRTLE BEACH, SC-     Brock Johnson had an active childhood.

“I grew up being an athlete,” stated Johnson.

He combined his love for sports with his love for the ocean and picked up surfing. Johnson pictured his life as one endless wave, until the tide changed four years ago.

“I broke my neck in a diving accident,” he said. “I didn’t really see that in my future.”

The accident left him paralyzed from the chest down.

“One of the biggest things I missed out of my life was surfing,” he remembered.

Johnson discovered adaptive surfing after attending an event in North Carolina. With physical therapy and determination, Johnson was back on his board.

” I had my personality back and I was Brock again,” he said.

Luke Sharp met Johnson at Wheel to Surf, an event that gives individuals with physical and mental disabilities the chance to catch some waves.

“My job is basically to carry him in the water. Then we get behind him and when he tells us the wave he wants, we push him,” said Sharp.

Johnson now competes in surfing competitions. His goal is to participate in the World Adaptive Surfing Championship in California. Team USA is already filled, so he’s applying to be an honorary nominee.

“I think he has a real shot at winning the world championship, I really do,” stated Sharp.

Johnson told News 13 he’d just be happy to participate.

If Johnson gets a chance to compete in September, he hopes his experience will prove there’s really no limit to what people with disabilities can do.

Coastal Carolina Adaptive Sports and Recreation recently received a $6,540 grant from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.

The next Wheel to Surf event will be held September 12 in Garden City and  September 24 in Folly Beach. Johnson said they’re looking for additional volunteers. If you wish to sign up, e-mail or call 843-997-7688.




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