THE next chapter of Beau Vernon’s inspirational story continues. He was back on a surfboard recently with the help of technology and a few mates.
The specially-designed board is powered by a Bluetooth watch that activates a motor when Beau hits it with his teeth.
Foam padding at the front of the board allows him to lean with his elbows to turn.
After a few practice runs in the bay at Newhaven and San Remo back beach, he ventured out the back at Foots Beach and caught his first wave.
Another session at Cat Bay proved to be successful, with footage of Beau catching waves with the help of a few mates by his side receiving praise and congratulations on Facebook.
Beau said it was awesome to get back in the water.
“It’s probably one of the things I’ve missed most – getting out the back of waves and relaxing, so it was really good to get out there in water with the sun shining on you while you’re laying on surfboard,” he said.
“If I fall off the board I can’t get back on myself, but you never know, in a year or two I might come up with a way to do it.
“At the moment I’m pretty reliant on other people, but I’m hoping down the track I might be able to do it with only one mate maybe.
“I’m pretty fortunate to have good mates and people around who are willing to give me a chop out.
“Without them I wouldn’t be able to do it so it’s pretty cool that I can.”
Beau has also made a new friend recently, spending time with Rhyll’s Hayden Marshall while he recovers from a spinal injury that left him a quadriplegic in September.
Hayden is undergoing a rehabilitation program at the Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre, where Beau spent time adjusting to his new life.
Beau said he saw a lot of similarities between the pair.
“I had a bloke come in and see me when I was in rehab and he showed me you can still live a good life,” he said.
“It made a huge difference for me and with Hayden being from Phillip Island and being a young, sporty bloke I want to be there for him when I can and help him through a tough time.
“He’s a great young bloke. I get along with him very well. He’s got a really good attitude which makes you want to help out more.”
Surf’s up for Beau