Adaptive surfing : Eric Dargent is on the road to the World championship in California !
Eric Dargent has just been selected to be a part of the adaptive surfing French team. Along with 6 team-members, the Provençal will defend our country's colours at the first World adaptive surfing championship in La Jolla (California), September 24-27.
Eric Dargent has just been selected to be a part of the adaptive surfing French team. Along with 6 team-members, the Provençal will defend our country's colours at the first World adaptive surfing championship in La Jolla (California), September 24-27. By taking up that new challenge, Eric hopes to make other amputee trust in their own capabilities.
What is it like to be a member of the adaptive surfing French team and taking part in the first world championship ?
I feel very happy and proud, for sure. It's fantastic ! I will have the opportunity to meet other amputee athletes from all over the world and exchange some experience in prostheses with them. Contributing to the improvement of prosthetic products and trying to make them affordable remains my objective. In addition, this new challenge strengthens the links with PROTEOR. The company supports me since the beginning and we work together on prosthetic knees design and enhancement.
After your accident in 2011, could you imagine that you would take part in such a competition ?
4 years ago, the physicians said that I would never go surfing again. I was far from thinking that one day I would go to a world championship. The things are moving in the right direction, but I also know that the competition would certainly not exist without the will of the International Surfing Association. As they want surfing to be included as a new sport in the 2020 Summer Olympics, they need to organize an adaptive surfing competition. In my opinion, disability would be left aside without such a directive.
What are your objectives in this world championship ?
Surfing as well as possible and pushing my own limits. I will compete in the « Stand athletes » discipline, which means that I will be in competition with transtibial or upper limb amputee surfers who are able to stand up on a surfboard. As a transfemoral amputee I will be disavantaged, thus my objective is to improve myself and surpass the other competitors.
Today, my moves are more accurate and better controlled. It is now easier for me to make figures and perform a spectacular, technical surfing. I want to show all the things one can do when fitted with a prosthesis. I hope that this will be seen and valued, so that the publicity around adaptive surfing can continue and encourage other disabled people to throw themselves in it.
How is your training going ?
Last July, I spent 4 weeks surfing intensively in Biarritz. I took the opportunity to meet the French team members several times and also train under the supervision of national coach Serge Lougarot. He helps me a lot to rectify my moves, including by using video footages.
I also practise mountain-biking and skateboarding at least 3 hours a day, and try to avoid injuries. I did not particularly intensify my practise of surfing in preparation for the world championship. I try to focus on performing figures, instead.
In addition, I am currently taking a training course that leads to a surfing instructor certification. This allows me to detect other people's flaws and by studying every posture, every move, every parameter, it is really helpful for improving my own practise.
As always, Eric Dargent will give the best on the Californian shores. Good luck to him and to the French team for making this american dream come true !
If you want to help them to finance their entry to the competition, take a look at the crowdfunding campaign that will end on September, 3.