For the first time ever, AmpSurf will hold a clinic in Newport County.

AmpSurf New England will hold an adaptive surfing clinic at Second Beach in Middletown, RI on September 16th, 2017.  The event involves adaptive surf therapy with certified adaptive surf instructors and is free for anyone with any kind of disability.  The event is from 7 am to 1:30 pm.

“On September 16th we will hold our first local adaptive surfing clinic right here at Second Beach.  We are working with Looking Upward and other local organizations to reach those with disabilities here in our local community. We invite all interested individuals to register, and come down to the beach just to check it out. Most of the time they see how awesome and easy it looks and decide they want to try it,” said local event organizer Justin Speegle.

A transplanted but now official Islander, Speegle is a retired armed forces colonel and has been an avid surfer for many years. His work with individuals with disabilities in Newport County is continually expanding, as he spearheads this clinic and other local events such as Tim Tebow’s Night to Shine.

AmpSurf is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2003 in Pismo Beach, California. Today, AmpSurf has operations in California, New England, and New York with the goal of encouraging injured veterans, adults and children living with disabilities to focus on their abilities, not their disabilities.  AmpSurf strives to Promote, Inspire, Educate, and Rehabilitate (PIER™) these great people in our communities by providing a quality program and the opportunity for both participants and volunteers to come together and feel the joy and healing of the ocean and the therapeutic effects of adaptive surfing.

AmpSurf began operating in New England at Long Sands Beach in York, Maine in 2011.  In 2013, AmpSurf added events in Nahant Beach in Massachusetts .  Last year,  AmpSurf made it down to Rhode Island with a surf clinic specifically for veterans at Narragansett Beach.

Thanks to local sponsors, event organizers will be giving away a free commemorative t-shirt to all participants and the first 60 volunteers to register on the website.  Participants and volunteers will also get coffee, doughnuts and pizza provided by the local sponsors.

Local Sponsors include:

  • Island Surf and Sport
  • Custom House Coffee
  • VFW Post #9404 Veterans Helping Veterans
  • University Orthopedics
  • Evangelical Friends Church, Newport
  • Kingston Pizza
  • Del’s Lemonade
  • Sweet Berry Farms
  • Bridge to Fitness

Anyone interested in participating or volunteering at the surf clinic, can register at

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.