After paddling into a Morro Bay wave, Kyle Kelly popped up on his surfboard and discovered movement.
The prosthetic foot designed by a team of Cal Poly students, he said, allowed greater flexibility than the rigid prosthetic he had previously used.
“There’s a noticeable and incredible difference as far as being able to move my ankle,” he said. “It changed the way I stood up on the board. It made everything smoother, easier, faster than the leg that I have been using to surf.”The students began working on the prosthetic in the fall, through the Quality of Life Plus program, which started on the Cal Poly campus and has since spread to a dozen others. Van Curaza, who founded Operation Surf for veterans, proposed the challenge.
In this video, the final of a 4-part series, you can see how the student project fared in the surf.