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Healing through surfing on Maui

Healing through surfing on Maui

Update: 2023-09-15


Today on “Post Reports,” residents in Lahaina are healing after the deadly Maui wildfires with the help of a Hawaiian tradition: surfing. 

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The Aug. 8 wildfire in Lahaina, Hawaii – the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century – took the lives of at least 115 people, with the number of missing still unknown. With lives and homes  devastated, residents are searching for a sense of normalcy. Surfing offers a reprieve for many of those affected by the tragic event.

“It can be a great way for people to heal. Like ocean therapy, saltwater therapy,” said former professional surfer and surfboard shaper, Jud Lau. “The ocean is a healing place.”

With the help of his Instagram followers and donations, Lau and other board shapers on Maui are replacing boards for those who lost them in the fire. 

Lahaina resident Victoria Gladden, a mother of three daughters, lost five boards in the fire, as well as everything else she owned. Getting back in the water was crucial for her to reconnect with herself in post-fire chaos. 

With the help of the Surfboard Replacement Project, Gladden and her eldest daughter Brianna reconnected with the water, finding peace on the waves. 

“This is just my favorite place in the whole entire world is the ocean,” she said after surfing for the first time since the fire.“I will never, ever live in a place where I cannot be in the water. I wouldn't, no way. What kind of life would that be?”









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Healing through surfing on Maui

Healing through surfing on Maui

The Washington Post