Last Spring, our CEO Chris Cuvelier met Life Rolls On Founder Jesse Billauer and the encounter made an impact. Chris was immediately inspired by not only Jesse’s story, but the community he’s gone on to steward in Life Rolls On. That’s why we didn’t hesitate to partner with the Life Rolls On Foundation to help fuel epic surf and skate events for adaptive athletes for the 2018 season, and beyond.
It all started one morning in 1996, like any other Malibu morning. Jesse was one of the top junior surfers in the world, a month away from turning pro, when he pulled inside a barrel and got thrown headfirst into a sandbar. The impact broke his sixth vertebrae and he instantly became a quadriplegic. But, his story didn’t end that day in the ocean. With the help of the surf community, he got back into the sport he loved, and in September 2015, he became the world champion of adaptive surfing.
ISA Adaptive Surf Champion
Jesse Billauer celebrates his Gold Medal victory in good company at the inaugural ISA Adaptive Surf Championships in 2015.
In the years after the accident, he came to realize that his story was important to share and he wanted to give other people with paralysis the same freedom, the same pure happiness of catching a wave. With the support of a few fearless friends in 2001, he began the non-profit Life Rolls On Foundation with a free adaptive surf clinic. Today, “LRO” provides FREE surf and skate events for wheelchair athletes across 12 cities on the West Coast, Gulf Coast & East Coast!
Overwhelmed with gratitude from the next level inspiration embodied at each event in 2018, we couldn’t wait to get on board to support our LROhana again this season. Not only will we be keeping all volunteers & athletes hydrated and energized at the events again this season, but we’re launching a fundraiser so that you can help us raise an additional $5,000 for LRO! It’s simple – you can help spread the stoke by giving us a follow on Instagram @LiveZolaUS and we’ll donate $1 to the LRO Foundation for every new follow now through September 31, 2019. Yew!!!
After all, it’s not easy putting on free events across the country, it takes a village as they say. We invite you to be a part of the village and join the LROhana this season. Check out the 2019 Get On Board Tour schedule and come hang out with us at an event near you – you will walk away with a fresh perspective and as Jesse says, “Your power is in your perspective, not your circumstance. No matter what you’re going through, I’m here to tell you, you got this.” We leave you with those powerful words friends, stay inspired!
-Much Love from Team Zola <3