Photo credit: Pat Weber
Photo credit: Chris Grant
To advocate for equality in surfing.
Video Credit: Sweet Day Studios
Dr. Dani Burt, PT, DPT is a World Adaptive Surfing Champion, Doctor of Physical Therapy, and above knee amputee.
In 2004, Dani was in a motorcycle crash that put her in a coma for 45 days. The toughest time in her life was when she woke up from her coma. She felt hopeless, lost, confused, hurt. She thought her life was over. Today, she works as a Doctor of Physical Therapy at Sharp Memorial Hospital, the same hospital where she was a patient. She chose that career path because she wants to be there for patients after they go through the darkest moments in their life to show them what is possible.
Dani Burt is also the first known female above knee amputee surfer in the world and one of the first to design a prosthetic surf leg. She has been competing against male competitors since 2010. In 2016, she was crowned the U.S. Adaptive Surfing Champion, defeating male competitors. In 2017, Dani competed in an all women’s division for the first time in the history of adaptive surfing. She was crowned the first ever women’s World Adaptive Surfing Champion at the ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championships. In 2018, Dani competed on Team USA for the fourth consecutive year and took on the role as Co-Captain of Team USA earning the Team their first Team Gold metal in history.
The achievement Dani has been most proud of was advocating for gender equality in adaptive surfing. In 2018, she was able to encourage ISA to rectify it's rules and regulations to exclude gender discrimination. She succeeded in changing the course of history.
Photo Credit: Sirens Project
2018 - Hawaii Adaptive Surfing Champion, women's division
2017 - World Adaptive Surfing Champion, women's division
2016 - U.S. Adaptive Surfing Champion, mixed gender division
2012 - Recognized as the only Female Transfemoral Amputee Skateboarder in the world, O&P Business News
2010 - Skateboarder in 1st showcase of action sports in Paralympics history during the Paralympics Opening Ceremonies in Vancouver, Canada
Photo Credit: Jason Rose
Dani serves as a mentor at surf clinics hosted by the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) and the Balboa Navy Medical Center. She has dedicated over 300 hours of adaptive surf instruction.