Pegleg Bennett - Adaptive Surf Legend
“I don't class myself as inspirational. I mean, I'm just an old guy that surfs. That's it.”
Despite being somewhat modest about his achievements, dryrobe® ambassador Pegleg Bennett is a bit of a legend. A surf instructor/chef based in Perranporth, Peg has surfed breaks all over the world - from Lofoten to Lakey Peak and everywhere in between. He’s competed at an international level, representing Team GB in ISA contests, as well as coaching and mentoring young surfers. Peg also just happens to have one leg.
“For me, I feel like I need to be in the ocean. That's where I need to be. And it doesn't matter what ocean I'm in wherever in the world, just stepping in I'm at home.”
Born with no ankle in his left leg, Peg’s parents opted to have his foot amputated, a decision he describes as the best they could have made. This has never stopped Peg from doing what he loves, including driving his epic van across Europe and Africa to surf monster waves in places like Nazaré, as well as running marathons and cycling from John O’Groats to Land’s End for charity.
“I've got a very nomadic soul. Van life is freedom. I like to travel, I like to experience. And I want to just soak up as much of this planet as I can really.”
Back in 2016 he had his name legally changed from Rick to his nickname, Pegleg, to stop any weirdness around his disability. He made the decision after he was out for a run one day and a friend shouted to him “Morning Pegleg, woz on!”. A tourist then confronted his friend and wouldn’t accept the explanation that’s how he chooses to refer to himself. When it comes to his disability Peg isn’t PC!
In our latest film, we caught up with Peg as he prepared to compete at the 2021 dryrobe® English Adaptive Surf Open at The Wave in Bristol. He talks about growing up, the freedom van life gives him, the adaptive surf family and feeling at home in the ocean.
“We're an extended family and that's what it is. And it's just a great excuse to get everyone together and enjoy it.”
Film by Mikey Corker