INTERVIEW: Cody Young to Host Surf Day for Special Needs Children

December 14, 2016, 11:43 AM HST · Updated December 27, 12:44 PM
Nick Ricca · 0 Comments


One of Maui’s top up and coming pro surfers, 17-year-old Cody Young, is hosting a surf day for children with special needs. “It’s going to be a fun-filled day for the community to come together and share our love of surfing with those who may not normally be able to surf,” said Young. Maui Now caught up with the King Kekaulike High School senior to learn more about the event.

MN: Tell us about your event. What is it all about?
Cody: This event is all about giving kids of all ages with varying disabilities or special needs, an opportunity to go surfing with experienced instructors and even some professional surfers. If they don’t feel comfortable going in the water, they can just enjoy a nice day at the beach and eat lunch provided by Kimo’s. Everyone gets prizes just for coming. The whole goal of the day is to stoke out the groms and have a good time.
MN: What inspired you to create this event?
Cody: A couple months ago I volunteered at an event ran by the Best Day Foundation in California. We took kids surfing, and I couldn’t believe how happy they were to ride waves. It brought me a feeling that I hadn’t really experienced before watching them. That event inspired me to create my own. It’s really just a bonus that it serves as my senior project.
MN: Who is THERAsurf and what do they do? How are you involved with them?
Cody: From their website: “THERAsurf is a diverse collective of parents, professionals and members of the surf community committed to the belief that there is healing energy in the power of the ocean. Our goal is to provide children with special needs the opportunity to benefit from that positive energy by safely getting them into the water and up on waves. We help children and their families access the stoke of surf culture, and aspire to create a can-do environment in a world full of limitations. We hold that all children are equal, regardless of race, religion, or ability, yet respect their individual needs and differences.  We recognize that we are their advocates, especially those with severe challenges, and welcome their families and friends as part of our community.” I saw that they hold some really good events so I decided it would be best to get in contact and ask if they wanted to produce this event with me.
MN: What’s next for you? 
Cody: We’re one week out from the event but I will be competing in the Pipe Masters Trials in the next few days when the swell comes up. Then right after Christmas I’m going to Australia for WSL World Junior Championships. I’m blessed to say the least.
The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Launiupoko Beach Park on Dec. 17, 2016. Lunch will be provided. To sign up visit For questions, email Cody at
Nick Ricca
Nick is a surf photographer, filmmaker, and writer from Maui. He is a contributor to Freesurf Magazine.


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