Aitor Francesena: he sees with the soul

A blind surfer has ridden the artificial rollers of the Wavegarden, in Zarautz, Spain.

Aitor "Gallo" Francesena suffers from a serious genetic disease that has weakened his vision through time. Three years ago, he completely lost his eyesight in a wipeout.

However, the experienced rider from the Basque Country never quit surfing. And at the original Wavegarden, Francesena showed why he will forever be a great surfer.

"I came several years ago when the project was just kicking off. And I saw Aritz surfing, so I have an image in my mind, and I thought it would be impossible for me to surf," explains Aitor "Gallo."

I caught a few waves, felt a few incredible things, and it's clear that even a blind person can surf. After the accident, I thought that I would never surf in the ocean again, and today I had the chance to surf in the wave pool. I was so stoked!"

Aitor Francesena, 44, has already competed in several disabled surfing competitions, he has written a book on surf training ("Las Olas Contadas"), and coached Dream Tour campaigner Aritz Aranburu.

The International Surfing Association (ISA) submitted a declaration of intent to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) for the inclusion of adaptive surfing on the 2024 Summer Paralympics program.

+ Surfing News