Brazilian surfer, Pirata, embodies the spirit of the ISA Mission perfectly. Pirata is not only an inspiration for people with disabilities, but for the whole surfing community.
Alcino Neto, more widely known as Pirata (Pirate), was born in Guaruja, Brazil, July 6, 1969. He has been surfing since he was 8 years old. During his childhood and adolescence, he took part in regional surfing championships. At age 16 he suffered a serious motorcycle accident, being trampled by a drunk driver. Because of the lack of assistance and injuries suffered, he had his left leg amputated. The barriers that appeared after the accident were, little by little, overcome with his determination and strength of will to surf again.
Initially, he returned to the water to practice swimming. The return to surfing was another natural stage in his career, where he had to reorganize his life and create his own surfing style and technique. Perseverance was the key to his success. His goal has always been searching for the best waves on the planet, which he is still in pursuit of.
In 1996, Pirata introduced Adaptive Surfing to Brazil by setting up a surf school at the beach Pitangueiras, Guaruja. Here his work includes working with impoverished children and people with disabilities. Adaptive Surfing is now being introduced by Pirata worldwide.
Today, Pirata is a member of the ISA Adaptive Surfing Committee. With a matching donation from the Quiksilver Foundation, Pirata and the ISA have produced, “Surfing for all,” a DVD teaching techniques for working with people with disabilities in the water. Pirata is also traveling the world with his wife Gabrielle; running Adaptive Surfing demonstrations at ISA events and spreading the important message that, “limits exist only in your mind.”
Order your free copy of “Surfing for All” in the ISA Store. ($5 handling fee applies)