News

Soul surfing heals spirits

Rubber Soul Boarding Company owner Ben Dickens at his home break at Lennox Head.
Rubber Soul Boarding Company owner Ben Dickens at his home break at Lennox Head. Cathy Adams

LENNOX Head surfer Ben Dickens believes he has the best office in the Northern Rivers.

The 35-year-old spends up to 12 hours a day on the beach running his rehabilitation and high performance surf school.

The rehabilitation unit focuses on people suffering depression, alcoholism, anxiety and obesity.

“It’s all about helping people build confidence and I using surfing as the catalyst,” Mr Dickens said.

“I aim to help people with depression that are at risk of suicide.

“The Rubber Soul Boarding Co. has equipment that suits everyone and we can teach people anything from riding longboards to body surfing.”

In addition to working with high schools, Mr Dickens has his sights set on helping the indigenous community.

“There are a lot of talented indigenous kids in the area and for whatever reason surfing isn’t the most accessible thing for them,” he said.

“I think some people believe surfing is an exclusive sport and it shouldn’t be that way.

“I’ve visited areas like Coraki and taken kids out on boards in the Richmond River and they really enjoyed it.”

Dickens has coached surfing all over the world and has qualifications in training athletes with disabilities.

He also has experience coaching national surfing teams and is a professional lifeguard.

“I love my job,” he said.

“With the high performance unit I run, I try and focus on what the kids are doing away from the beach.

"If they are wagging school, or if their numeracy and literacy rates are down, I tell them to improve before they come back.

“You need an education as well as surfing, it doesn’t matter how good you are.

“I’ve seen blokes come off the pro tour and end up in rehab because they have no education to do anything else.”

Topics:  lennox head, surfing




Splendour found The Cure

Robert Smith at the Splendour in the Grass Amphitheatre stage during The Cure's show.

Day two of Splendour in the Grass

Splendour organisers offer free rides after bus chaos

Jenna Podolczak posts this picture of festival-goers "sleeping in the mud" to the Splendour in the Grass Facebook page.

Festival-goers resorted to walking home along highways last night.

Have you seen this man? Investigations into Bangalow theft underway

Police believe the man shown in these cctv images may be able to assist with the investigation of a Bangalow theft.

The man may be able to assist police with investigations.

Latest deals and offers

Guy Sebastian a hit at Splendour in the Grass

Guy Sebastian performs at Splendour in the Grass with Paces.

REALITY TV judge a hit with festival crowd.

Splendour revellers cool down with giant emoji

The Mr Poopie sculpture at Splendour in the Grass.

Mr Poopie sculpture is inspired by the ice cream/poop emoticon.

Superheroes of the big screen enjoy sounds of Splendour

CHRIS Hemsworth and his Avengers mates drop by Byron festival.

Indigenous artist shows tourists secrets of Aboriginal painting

Ever thought "I could do that" about Aboriginal art?

Dynamic pics from Splendour Day 1

The Strokes perform at Splendour in the Grass 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Check out the latest pictures from Splendour in the Grass.

Politician cancels Splendour gig

DEBATE: Tony Jones' Q&A; at Splendour is one of the most popular non-music-related events of the festival.

Changes in the line up for Q&A with Tony Jones tomorrow

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started