DOMINIC Picton's determination at his third Vision Australia Surf Day paid off.
"This time I wasn't just going to stay on the board - I was going to stand up," Dominic said.
"I stood up five or six times and it was pretty good, but the one second after when I fell off was not that good!"
Dominic, 16, was one of seven young people who are blind or have low vision who participated in the event at Blacksmiths, alongside six of their sighted siblings.
Learn to Surf Newcastle owner Myles Niddrie and staff as well as legally blind Paralympian, cyclist and surfing world champion Matt Formston offered participants one on one tuition, before Blind Sports NSW hosted cricket, yoga and tug of war.
Vision Australia Central Coast and Hunter coordinator of volunteers and community relations Jordan Ashby said it was important for people with impaired vision to develop water safety skills so they felt comfortable visiting the beach with friends.
"We do what we can to bring a group together in a safe environment so they can form relationships and enjoy experiences that sighted people take for granted," he said.
"It builds confidence. You can live the life you choose even if you have vision loss, you just need a helping hand to get you started."
Dominic said Formston was a "wealth of knowledge" and he now knew how to use sound and touch to determine when a wave was forming.
"I'm more able to judge what to catch," he said.
Formston said surfing was inclusive.
"I want them to be able to express themselves, take risks and be with people who don't have a disability," he said.
"If you don't take risks you don't make mistakes and you don't learn and develop."
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