We met on a sunny Saturday morning. He traveled all the way from Brazil to this beach. The California sun was already hot and all sorts of ‘beach-goers’ were either working their tan or catching the waves on their boards. He hopped out of his van, pulled out his surfboard and his white cane.
Surfing is hard for those who can see, imagine for those who can not see…
Meet Derek Rabelo. He’s known around the world as the blind surfer. Born blind, Derek grew up in the city of Guarapari, Brazil. Surfing runs deep in this family. Derek began surfing at an early age. With the encouragement of his parents, his best friends and surf coach, Derek trained for many years to become the professional surfer he is today. His dream, hard work and extreme dedication would take him to the North Shore of Oahu, to surf and ultimately conquer – Pipeline. His inspiring story is captured in the documentary film called Beyond Sight.
Derek reached out to us early in the summer to try out Sunu Band. He saw the potential for Sunu Band to help him maintain his active lifestyle and enhance his navigational abilities. Despite his blindness, Derek enjoys hiking, bungie jumping, skydiving and of course surfing.
Sunu Band is like an extension of my senses…
Throughout the weekend, Derek became more agile with his Sunu Band. We went on walks through LA’s busy spots. Derek used the Sunu Band’s echolocation app to find his way among the crowds walking the star-strutted sidewalks. Derek used the Place Finder app to explore the nearby cafes, restaurants, stores and clubs. And the Sunu Band’s compass app allows Derek to exactly know where the beach is.
Derek has inspired many people through his surf career, and pro surfers count him as one of the best. Now Derek travels the world hoping to inspire people who are blind and visually impaired, as well as those who are sighted. He shares his story and vision, and hope to coach others to conquer their biggest obstacles and ride the wave of life to their fullest potential.
Derek was so impressed with Sunu Band, that he teamed up with Sunu hoping to motivate, inspire and show the world that technologies like Sunu Band are the future, enhancing our human abilities to do and achieve more. Check out the video below. Join the conversation on Facebook, twitter, or drop us a message if you’d like to learn more about Derek and Sunu Band.