This is an official World Surf League Surf Ranch video released via Social Media August 31, 2018, and received 100K views in 36.5 hours.
Joshua “the Jedi” Loya is a 100% Blind Professional Adventurer. He is an avid Martial Artist, holding three black belts, and has been surfing seriously only since 2017 under the guidance of Coach Pat Weber of the San Diego Surfing Academy (SDSA).
His first contest was the 2017 US Open Adaptive Surfing Championships where he placed 3rd and in the money, defeating the current USA Surfing Visually Impaired Champion. In only his second competition, he dethroned the defending US Champ and with his 1st Place victory earned a spot on the ten-person USA Adaptive Surf Team for the 2018 Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championships in La Jolla in December. Joshua’s third surfing competition was at the Duke’s OceanFest Access Surf Hawaii Event where he took 2nd Place overall and was the highest placing completely blind competitor and the highest placing American.
Unofficially, Joshua holds the World Record for time and distance traveled on a paddle entry ocean wave by a surfer with no vision (Queens, Waikiki, HI, for approximately 16 seconds and 200 yards). Joshua and Coach Pat were invited to Kelly Slater’s Wave at the WSL Surf Ranch on May 20, 2018, with other special guests including fellow Team USA member, Carter Hess, and Hawaiian Professional Surfers, Kai Lenny and Dusty Payne.
Coach Pat started surfing before leashes in the 70’s, enjoyed competitive success over the years and founded SDSA in 1995. He has been involved in Sight Impaired Surfing volunteerism since 1997 with the Swamis Surfing Association. His athletes include the first-ever, two-time and the current USA Surfing Visually Impaired Champions.
You can support this American adaptive surfing athlete’s training and travel efforts when you visit: https://www.gofundme.com/surf-beyond-…
For an excellent surfing adventure with Coach Pat, please visit: www.SanDiegoSurfingAcademy.com