Sean Fitzgibbon

  • Licensed Orthotic Fitter/ Prosthetic Assistant & Pedorthist
  • Cervical/ Spinal Stabilization & Orthotic Intervention
  • Certified Wound Care Training
  • HIV/Infectious disease prevention course
  • Preventing Medical Errors Course
  • Muscle Contracture Management
  • First Aid / CPR (adult, child, infant)
  • Advanced Life Support/AED
  • 4 time East Coast Surfing Champion
  • 4 time consecutive U.S.S.F. National Surfing Champion
  • Buddy Pelletier Surfer of the Year Award in 04/05
  • Founding member of the Extremity Games

Sean Fitzgibbon is a Paddling Safety Guru that has saltwater coursing through his veins. When Sean meets a challenge, he dives right in without regard to his prosthetic right leg.  This admirable athlete, coach, and medical practitioner refuses to let anything hold him back, despite having had his leg amputated at the age of three, he has completed several expeditions; moreover, he’s also an avid surfer with four-time national champion trophies.

His aquatic way of life began with his father.  They fished, boated, and canoed all around the state of Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina. It was this time spent on the water as a child that imbedded a love for all things connected to the water. That coupled with the fact that Sean was born with a birth defect that eventually led to the amputation of his Rt. lower leg when he was 3 years old to allow him to function more normally. It was in the water that Sean found a certain freedom he did not have on land.

So began Sean’s journey in life that would eventually find him sailing and surfing, at first for fun, then in competitions. Sean excelled in surfing, eventually turning pro & taking many East Coast and National Championships and surfing both the east & west coasts of the U.S & in Hawaii in his 9 years of professional surfing. In sailing he took pride in his knowledge of the environment, and boating safety- taking all 3 levels of Survival Tech training in the late 80’s. Sean really liked to sail and the mariners way of life, but wanted to connect with the liquid world a bit more intimately- that led him to surfing and eventually to kayaking for training when the waves were flat. Sean began paddling in 1999 and by 2001 was leading trips and teaching all over Florida for a local paddling outfitter. It was during this time he met Jeff Fabiszewski and they have been paddling and running a paddlers info blog ever since.

Now retired from competing in surfing Sean focuses on paddling, his wife, & 2 boys (maybe not in that order). During the week you will usually find Sean working his “real job” at St Petersburg Limb & Brace as a Licensed Orthotic Fitter/ Prosthetic Assistant & Pedorthist. Where he designs, fabricates and fits orthotic and prosthetic devices to help his patients regain/maintain an active lifestyle, along the way giving them support and encouragement.

On the weekends and any other time Sean is either paddling for FUN, teaching paddling safety for FUN, or guiding other paddlers for FUN at Sweetwater Kayaks!  Sean’s paddling accomplishments include crossing the Molokai Channel (Hawaii) in 2000. In 2007 Sean and Jeff circumnavigated Pinellas County, Fl. over a 5 day period. In 2008-2009 Sean paddled over 90 miles in the Florida Keys and then in December ’09 did over 100 miles on the Suwannee River, Fl.  Other paddling includes Atlantic coastal paddling off Charleston South Carolina and the coast of Georgia. Sean has also taught at the Sweetwater Kayak Symposium and worked at the East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival in Charleston, S.C. providing support for Russel Farrow behind the scenes. Sean has been taught and mentored by many well respected coaches/instructors in the U.S. and is continually striving to become a better paddler and to spread his love of the paddling lifestyle and all things in nature.

Sean Fitzgibbon

In the news



  1. Hey Sean –
    It was great meeting you, and spending some time with you at the Sweetwater Symposium this past weekend. Thanks for testing my SOF kayak, and giving us a good evaluation of it – I appreciate it, and value your opinion. I’m sending Russell a CD containing the pics that I took, and you’re in a bunch of them. I look forward to paddling with you in the future!
    Don McCumber

  2. Thank You Don! I had a blast paddling the new prototype 17.6 skin-on-frame Kayak by 21st Century Kayaks! You and Mike are a blast, hope we can get together in the future for some paddling- something tells me our paths will cross again!!!!

    – Sea Turtle Sean

  3. Do me a favor, and tell “B. G.” Jeff that I think he’s a real sport, for putting up with your joking at his expense all weekend. He seems like a nice guy.

  4. Sean…

    The only bad part of meeting you at Oscar Scherer State Park, last Sunday, is that you were leaving. I wish I would have met you guys sooner and gotten to spend some time on the water with you. Small world, Don McCumber – 21st Century is a good friend of mine. I emailed photos of Kevin’s two wood boats to Don, because I knew he would appreciate the workmanship. Maybe he already knows Kevin too. You are an inspiration for sure and an even more verbose “talker” than I. ;o) Hope to see you on the water soon. I really want to try stand up paddling… As my new friend said “Smooth Waters”

  5. Wow! I don’t know how I missed your bio before but how impressive! Skating, surfing, sailing, paddling – bloody hell mate, you’re a superstar!!! Keep up the good work, and love the site. Cheers – FP

  6. Hey Sean, Just read the most recent article and news cast on you, great job, it put a huge smile on my face 🙂 Hopefully I make it home sometime in the near future and we can get together for a beer. Cheers!

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