Surfers for Autism

Saturday, May 31, 2014
When I saw Emma and Kaydi had taken place to Surfers for Autism I couldn't not ask them to share their experience with us.
These two girls from Florida have been chosen to represent COSTA bikinis, and now I know why. They're such beautiful girls inside and out and sources of inspiration for all of us.

"Surfers for Autism is an amazing, non-profit organization providing children with special needs and their families a fun, and always life-changing day at the beach for everyone involved. Volunteers, and our extremely generous sponsors, love coming out to spend a day with kids and young adults from all ranges of the spectrum in a beautiful, judgment free environment. Through the activities of surfing and stand up paddleboarding, the kids use every aspect of the human body and mind. They practice their gross motor skills as volunteers teach them how to paddle, pop up, and have them riding waves like a pro by the end of the day. The children are exposed to new faces and new environmental conditions every time they go out for a session, greatly expanding their social-emotional domain. Our goal for the day is to help the kids make a breakthrough, out of their comfort zone. There is nothing that comes close to the happiness we experience when seeing the smile on a child’s face the first time they’re lifted and carried by the sea. 

I have been a volunteer for Surfers for Autism for over two years now, and I can say that there’s no better way to spend a weekend than with this amazing group of people. I learn so much from the participants, such as how to let go of troubles, and just enjoy the world around you. Most of all, they teach me how to trust. They let themselves be lead into one of the harshest environments on the planet, by strangers, and trust them with their lives. They understand that we are all there for a common purpose: to grow and improve ourselves, physically and emotionally. Many children with autism are non-verbal, and some are deaf. For this reason, I have been studying American Sign Language for three years now to be able to communicate with them. I am now fluent, and it warms my heart to know that I can talk to those who’s world is made smaller by lack of non-verbal communication. I feel like it is my job to open up a whole new world to these children. SFA is a great opportunity for people of all ages, abilities, exceptionalities, cultures, and skills to have fun and make a difference in each other’s lives."

(Kaydi Archer)

"Surfers for Autism has been apart of my life since the year of 2010. My first time volunteering was at my home break Stuart Beach. My life changed when I began working with these kids to help them stand up on a surf board. This was a remarkable feeling for me. Bonding with these kids that have the same love for the ocean as me has been a great experience. Kids that have autism are no different from other people. Having them experience new things like surfing can make them open up to others. There has been times where a non verbal child has spoke to their parents for the first time after surfing at these events. After having a surf session, that child came out of the water smiling and told his parents he loved them. Having these experiences made my heart open up to these kids and their surfing.

It's absolutely life changing to see them progress so fast when their out in the water surfing.  One of my greatest experience's was with my friend Kaydi. We were teaching a deaf boy named Ej how to use the paddle in order to paddle board. He got so excited, he was yelling and had the biggest smile on his face while splashing the paddle into the water. Ej didn’t want to let go of the paddle. He was having such a great time! I feel so blessed to have had such special moments with these kids at Surfers for Autism."

(Emma Fillmore)

Thank you girls for sharing your stories with us. You are amazing!
If you want to learn more about Kaydi and Emma, you can find their profile on

You can get in touch with Surfers for Autism visiting their website or their facebook page

Credits // Author: Marta Tomasini + Kaydi Archer and Emma Fillmore, Swimwear c/o COSTA bikinis
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