Darek Rabelo tours to promote his documentary, Beyond Sight
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 19 September, 2014 - Walking On Water Films, Christian Surfers Europe and S4J Hawaii Productions bring blind surfer Derek Rabelo and the movie of his story, Beyond Sight, to seven countries as part of a European tour.
When the odds are stacked, you can give up or face the challenges head on with determination to succeed. One young surfer is making waves in the surf community for doing just that. Walking on Water Films, a San Diego-based nonprofit organisation and S4J Hawaii Productions have completed production of Beyond Sight: The Derek Rabelo Story, and there will be the rare opportunity to meet Derek himself as he appears throughout Europe with this initial tour of the movie.
Derek Rabelo’s father prayed that his unborn son would become a professional surfer, naming the boy after legendary surfer Derek Ho. However, the father’s aspirations for his son were shattered as Derek was born blind on May 25th 1992. But this physical hindrance did not stop the Brazilian boy from pushing past his disability to make his dreams come true. At 17 years old, Rabelo embarked on a three-year journey of rigorous training that stretched him mentally, physically and spiritually.
Proving that nothing is impossible, the 20-year-old surfed Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii - a challenging surf destination for even the most skilled surfers. "Being born blind did not stop Derek from his dream to surf Pipeline. His story has encouraged me and it will inspire this generation!" said pro surfer Bethany Hamilton.
“Pipeline is basically the ultimate wave in a lot of ways - just a short, intense, dangerous wave that’s close to the beach,” said Kelly Slater, an 11-time World Champion surfer. “Many surfers with sight do not venture out even after they see that others can do it. With no eyesight, you’re literally in the moment of what the feel is, right at that second, and that is all Derek had as he surfed Pipeline.”
Professional surfer Laird Hamilton added, “Pipeline is one of the most dangerous waves in the world. And when you know what you’re doing and have perfectly good eyes, you can die. When Derek went out to Pipeline and surfed, the angels were busy that day.”