Blind surfer takes on some of the biggest waves in the world in Portugal

Feeling the freedom of huge waves – that’s what an Australian surfer is doing with waves of around 12 metres high off the Portuguese coastline. Matt Formston is among the best-disabled surfers in the world.

The 44-year-old’s disability is blindness. But that hasn’t stopped him from following his dream.

“I dreamed that I would be a professional surfer. And that dream seemed to be unrealistic for me as a person with a disability. But now I’m a professional surfer,” explained Matt. “We put together a plan and we started working out the processes for me to surf a wave of that size as a blind surfer, using a whistle and other communication rather than being able to see.”

“So I grew up with full vision. When I was about five years old, I lost 95% of my peripheral vision, which is the outsides of your vision, and all of my central vision. So if you put your fist in front of your eyes, which blocks out all of your central vision, I can only see the outsides, but of that, if you blurred it out, blur blur blur, make it blurry, like you’re rubbing your windscreen with sandpaper.”

Matt’s next dream is to see parasurfing making its Paralympic debut in 2028 in Los Angeles.

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