Blind students ride waves in Manhattan Beach

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Students from the Braille Institute of Los Angeles ventured out into Manhattan Beach to learn how to surf.

"The kids get to experience the water. Some of them, it's their first time," Jessica Gonzalez, the youth program manager with the Braille Institute LA, said.

The free lesson is provided by Learn to Surf LA.

"We go over a lot more tactile demonstration of the board. We have them feel the fins and feel the rails ... it was pretty mind-blowing how brave these kids are and how they were just able to get out there and go for it," owner and founder of Learn to Surf LA, Patrick Murphy, said.

Murphy leads a group of volunteer instructors.

"Learning how to surf is amazing for all of us, but especially when we see these students who can't see being able to stand up and surf for the first time," volunteer Marc Fisher said.

Nadira Calderon, 16, is diagnosed with Aniridia and is partially blind, but that didn't stop her from being the star student.

"At first I was overwhelmed and nervous and kind of scared, but knowing that the instructor was with me helped me a lot, and I eventually got up about four or five times ... the standing up part, you feel free and like nothing can stop you. You feel so good," Nadira said.

Manpreet Sorabsingh was left speechless.

"It was crazy, I've never done this before. To be honest, I don't know what to say. It was cool," Manpreet said.

This was the sixth year that the Braille Institute of LA brought out students to surf.

"They wish they can come back like the next day, but we're only here once a year," Gonzalez said.

Murphy hopes that these students can motivate others.

"I hope everyone, anyone who sees this, sees that whatever they're dealing with, they can get out there and catch their own waves, whatever they may be, and if these kids are out here doing it, then what are you doing?" Murphy asked.
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