HONOLULU (KHON2) — After an accident left Spike Kane paralyzed, he had to learn how to use a wheelchair to get around. Since then, he’s found a way to adapt to this challenge, including using a customized surfboard that has fin boxes by the tail — those fins help keep his legs on the board. The board also has a chest and chin pad, as well as deck fittings to attach handles.
It’s a special board for the 59-year-old surfer. Kane’s had it for about three years and calls it his favorite one. But on Saturday, June 4, his board was stolen from Ewa Hotel Waikiki, just days before his competition.
“I flew in on Thursday and surfed Friday and Saturday training for the AccesSurf Hawaii Adaptive Surf Championship which starts in Waikiki on Wednesday,” Kane told KHON2. “The competition is an annual event, and next to the World Championships, is the largest adaptive surf competition in the world. It used to be a part of Duke’s Fest, but it outgrew that venue and is now its own 6-day event.”
Kane is originally from the United Kingdom but now lives in Oceanside, California, so he can surf more often and be closer to Hawaii.
“I have been coming to Hawaii for over 10 years and have many close friends here,” he said.
For over 10 years, Kane has been involved with AccesSurf, a local nonprofit that provides ocean access for anyone with a disability. He was last year’s Ocean of Possibilities Award recipient.
Kane shared that he became paralyzed in 2005 when he was riding his motorcycle in Seattle, and a car ran a red light. The driver was on his cellphone, according to Kane.
Kane surfed before his accident and also had helped adaptive surfers on the mainland before his injury. He was inspired to take disabled surfers to some of his favorite breaks in Washington and Oregon after seeing the documentary “Step Into Liquid.”
“I continued to surf as soon as I was out of the hospital. We all know how healing the ocean is!” he said.
This week, 100 athletes from 17 different nations will compete in the Hawaii Adaptive Surfing Championships at Queen’s Surf Break in Waikiki. It will be the first stop of the inaugural Adaptive Surfing Professionals World Championship Tour.
Kane has represented Team England every year since it started in 2015. So far, he has competed in over 60 adaptive surf contests. He has been instrumental in developing and designing adaptive surfboards and equipment working with a number of shapers. He continues to push the sport forward in any way possible.
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If you see Kane’s surfboard, message AccesSurf here.