Surfing With Nixon offers children with autism chance to surf like a pro

Aug 21, 2015, 7:45 PM

(Facebook/Big Surf Waterpark)...

(Facebook/Big Surf Waterpark)

(Facebook/Big Surf Waterpark)

PHOENIX — Hundreds of children with autism got the chance to surf like a pro Friday during the 2nd annual Surfing With Nixon.

Surfing With Nixon, a nonprofit organization that offers surfing lessons to Arizona kids with autism as a form of water therapy, celebrated its second event at Big Surf Waterpark in Scottsdale, Arizona on Friday.

Over 130 kids took part in the event, which brought in professional surfers from Hawaii and California to teach the kids how to “hang ten.”

Daniel Romney, director of Surfing With Nixon, said the kids love the ability to trigger their different senses on the water.

“It’s all about the kids with autism,” he said. “The fact that they can get out there and surf and have that sensory input met; there’s nothing else better than to see these kids ride in on a surf board with a huge smile on their face.”

Nixon, the young boy who the event was named after, was born with Cerebral Palsy and Autism, according to the website. His mother, Shari Romney, said he was on a waiting list for physical therapy, horse therapy and swimming therapy two years ago when she bought him a season pass to Big Surf.

“He loved it, to where he didn’t even want to get out when we were done,” she said on the website. “After this experience I looked into surfing events in California, again being told there is a three year waiting list.”

Soon after, after dealing with never-ending frustration from waiting list after waiting list, Romney decided to start Surfing With Nixon, an annual event that brings in surfers from all over the world to volunteer their time to help kids in need.

Romney said the annual event allows children with autism the ability to learn how to control their bodies in and out of the water while also bringing families in similar situations closer together.

“Most of the time children with autism, they’re always doing extensive amount of therapy,” she said.  “The sensory input that receive from the water, that‘s why most of them love it.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

File photo of Phoenix police SUVs parked in front of a metal utility pole. A suspect was arrested A...

Man arrested after allegedly assaulting Phoenix police during apprehension

A man was arrested after Phoenix police officers intervened in a physical fight on Saturday, authorities said.

19 minutes ago

Scottsdale Fire Department was among the groups assisting with "Wildcat Fire" containment over the ...

Cave Creek Ranger District closed in wake of ‘Wildcat Fire’ containment efforts

The Tonto National Forest issued a monthlong closure of the Cave Creek Ranger District as crews continue to fight the "Wildcat Fire."

2 hours ago


Nick Borgia

Tempe City Council approves new prevailing wage ordinance

Tempe City Council approved the establishment of a prevailing wage ordinance on May 9 with a 5-1 vote. It ensures wage standards for workers.

3 hours ago

Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, recently finished a $150-million, property-wide restora...

Brandon Brown/Phoenix Business Journal

Arizona Biltmore sold for $705M — the Valley’s largest hospitality deal this year

The Arizona Biltmore, one of the longest-running and most notable resorts in the Valley, is under new ownership and new management.

4 hours ago

Rudy Giuliani...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani is the final defendant to serve indictment in Arizona fake elector case

Rudy Giuliani has been served an indictment in Arizona's fake elector case for his role in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

15 hours ago

Arizona woman sentenced for mail fraud...

Nick Borgia

Green Valley woman sentenced to prison for defrauding elderly clients

A Green Valley insurance agent was sentenced to 21 months in prison on Tuesday for mail fraud, according to a press release.

16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Surfing With Nixon offers children with autism chance to surf like a pro