Mark is a therapeutic recreation specialist who truly exhibits the Hawaiian spirit of “pono,” or righteousness. Through AccesSurf he is helping people with disabilities enjoy the ocean through beach access, adaptive surfing instruction, and other water activities.
What is AccesSurf?
AccesSurf empowers people with disabilities by providing adaptive surfing instruction and therapeutic educational programs on water recreation and enriches lives by assisting families to access the beach and ocean in a barrier free environment.
What is the tarp made of that takes you out to the beach?
The accessible beach path was actually created as an industrial pathway used by the military in Iraq and Afghanistan for the transportation of their military equipment. Now, Mobi-Mat makes accessible paths for recreation, commercial, boat ramps and many other great uses. It’s made of a polyester mesh material that can be purchased in various sizes and styles of traction.
“Hawaii is the surfing capital of the world,” says Mark Marble. “The beach is a huge part of the local culture, yet there’s a part of the population that can’t get there.” Last March, Marble, 41, co-founded AcceSurf Hawaii with Rich Julian, to help people with physical disabilities get back into the ocean.
“We have a guy flying in from Canada who hasn’t surfed since his accident 17 years ago. AccesSurf Hawaii is going to change his life,” Marble says. Each month, the organization co-sponsors a “Day at the Beach” event, providing adaptive surfboards, a double-hulled kayak and equipment to help people with different disabilities swim in the ocean.
In the coming year, Marble hopes to expand the “Day at the Beach” program to the Neighbor Islands and raise enough money to place permanent beach mats on public beaches, allowing wheelchair-bound surfers to get to the water.
President and CEO, AccesSurf Hawai’i / United States