Derek Rabelo is a blind surfer from Brazil. In 2014, he toured Europe, presenting his film “Beyond Sight”. Cross Culture Surf organised a special screening in Zarautz, which was presented by Derek and movie director Bruno Lemos.

“Beyond Sight” charts Derek’s journey as he perseveres towards his goal of surfing Pipeline. He inspires the best professional surfers in the world including Kelly Slater, Damien Hobgood, Rob Machado, Lakey Peterson, Taj Burrow, Laird Hamilton and more, who are featured in the film. The film was shown in Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Portugal, Basque Country, Spain, France, England and Wales. Wherever they went the message was the same – to challenge people to live by faith and not by sight. People interpret the word “faith” differently but for Derek, his faith is in Jesus Christ. Derek shared his story with us and gave us inspiring insight into what faith means to him – to be sure of what you hope for and certain of what you cannot see.


Together with Axi Muniain (big wave surfer) and Basque surf coach Aitor Francesena (who is also blind), we invited people to try surfing whilst blindfolded. Ironically, it was a huge eye-opener! It gave us a “glimpse” into their world, and what it’s like to surf without being able to see. It makes you focus on your remaining senses. You listen much more and every signal from a friend is a welcome ingredient to catching the wave. This unique initiative caught the attention of the local Basque TV, radio and press, and was even featured on the national Basque news. Here’s what they made of it: