A photographer and surfer who lost his leg following a hit-and-run accident earlier this year, was cheered on by family and friends as he went surfing on a regular surfboard again for the first time since his accident.

The Dispatch Online reports that Jean-Paul Veaudry went “knee-surfing” for a couple of days before he decided to go all-out again for the first time since recently being fitted with his prosthetic leg manufactured especially for a surfer designed by Roland Toogood, a medical orthotist/prosthetist. He came up with a special lightweight prosthesis with a foot that has energy storage and that is able to absorb shock.

“I’m a bit nervous because paddling on a surfboard is not quite the same as surfing. I missed surfing and I felt like a fish out of water… it is something that only surfers would understand,” he told the Dispatch.

On May 23 this year, the motorcycle Veaudry was riding was involved in a collision with a car which sped away from the scene. The driver of the car is still at large.

So how did Veaudry’s first time back on the board go with his new leg? “The whole experience was awesome, but I kept on dragging my leg in the water and I didn’t realise it,” he told the Dispatch after his session in the water. “It was also strange not being able to feel the board the same way I used to. The waves weren’t too exciting either, but I will come back.”