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Cal Poly students test all-terrain wheelchair for adaptive surfers at Pismo Beach

PISMO BEACH, Calif. - Cal Poly students are testing its all-terrain wheelchair for adaptive surfers during the AmpSurf VetSurf event in Pismo Beach.

AmpSurf is a group that promotes the healing power of the ocean through adaptive surf therapy.

The designers say it’s a wheelchair like no other.

"It can drive in and out of the water autonomously. There are no issues with it getting trapped in the water or getting stuck. It actually carries two surfboards and it’s only designed for one," said Cal Poly student Caitlin Tang-Hornbuckle.

This corrosion-resistant wheelchair was tested by Cal Poly students Friday with one group in mind: adaptive surfers.

They're hoping to give those with disabilities a new way to get surfboards in and out of the ocean.

"They can unload get into the water, send the chair back up the beach and then when they get done surfing it can come back to them and get them and pick them up and take them home," said AmpSurf Founder and US veteran Dana Cummings.

Students who worked on the project say they spent almost a year designing it.

"Yeah hundreds and hundreds of hours we spent Just eight hours yesterday on campus working on it and classes aren’t even in session anymore so we’ve been putting a lot of extra time into this," said Cal Poly student Lauren Knott.

The Cal Poly student team has high hopes for this new device.

"My hope for this would be to eventually see it USA Olympic surfing team. I think it would be fantastic for the Paralympic surfers to have a device like this to use," said Tang-Hornbuckle.

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Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martellotti is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Patricia, click here.


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