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DEAN DUNBAR, BLIND ADVENTURER, INSPIRATIONAL PUBLIC SPEAKER

Two years after being registered blind at the age of 29, Dean did a charity tandem skydive which changed his life.

Since then he has notched up over 80 activities around the world, ranging from adventure racing to zorbing, and set almost 20 world firsts in activities ranging from open-water swimming to stand up paddle-boarding.

dean dunbar speed riding

 

dean dunbar hydrospeed

 

dean dunbar wing walk intro

Dean Dunbar is a registered blind adventurer and extreme sports enthusiast, based in Perthshire, Scotland.

In the early days, 9 out of 10 outdoor companies would say "no" when Dean wanted to come along to play.

In 2002 Dean created and launched his website extremedreams.co.uk to say thank you to the awesome 1 out of 10 companies who said yes!

Since launching the website in 2002, Dean has been asked to talk at many different events, but being scared of an audience he couldn’t see, he always said "no".

In 2012, Dean finally said "yes", and hasn’t stopped. He has talked at the Scottish Outdoor Pursuits Show, twice, the Fort William Mountain Festival, Dundee University, and for several private groups. In January 2016 he is booked to talk at the Buxton Adventure Festival, and the Adventure Travel Show in London.

In 2014, Dean was invited to introduce one of his films at the Dundee Mountain Film Festival. This year, 2015, he has been asked back to introduce another one.

If Dean isn’t preparing for his next talk, he’ll be training for his next challenge!

Read about Dean’s background here red arrow

LATEST

April 23rd, 2020 - Buxton Adventure Festival
On Thursday 23rd of April, Dean will be talking at the Buxton Adventure Festival. See
October 19th - Tullynessie Hall, Aberdeenshire
SUP to St Kilda talk Saturday 19th October 2019 – 8pmTullynessle Hall, Alford, Aberdeenshire Hosted by NESKy (North East Sea Kayakers) Dean talked about his 2017 stand up paddle-board trip to St Kilda.  This was the first, and so far, only SUP trip to the islands.  It was the fulfilment of a 25 year dream for me, which included 2 days of paddling...
March 1st - Braemar Mountain Festival
On the 1st of March, Dean spoke at the Braemar Mountain Festival about his sight, his adventures and his SUP to St Kilda.  Testimonials
July 5th – Dean was a presenter and speaker at the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards ceremony at Holyrood Palace.
Dean had a fantastic time talking to, and meeting, the young people who have worked very hard to earn the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards, and their guests, at the awards ceremony in the gardens of Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh.  He also met and chatted to HRH Prince Edward.
June 5th - Birnam Arts - SUP to St Kilda talk
June 5th – Dean, and Patrick Winterton spoke at Birnam Arts, north of Perth, about their 2017 “SUP to St Kilda”, where Patrick, in his sea kayak, guided Dean on the first ever SUP to St Kilda - 70km over 2 days, including big waves, a very scary night on a rock, and the fulfilment of a 25 year dream for Dean!
37th Argyll Scout Group, North Connel - April 30th,2018
Dean, Rhona, and Stumpy had a great evening with the Cubs at the 37th Argyll Scout Group.  Read the testimonial HERE.

dean dunbar talking testimonial

"Dean’s inspiring presentation to our audience at the Fort William Mountain Festival in February 2015 was one to remember.  Fascinating … inspirational … funny … extreme! This insight into how Dean interprets the world was brilliant as he recounted his adventure of being the first registered blind person to paddle the Caledonian Canal over its entire length on a Stand-up Paddle board. A truly engaging speaker who’s energy and optimism on life’s adventure is infectious."

Paul Kelly and Tina Davenport
Fort William Mountain Festival

Read more testimonials here testimonial read more arrow

 

EXPERIENCE THE ADVENTURES...

Become a part of Dean’s adventures as he talks you through the highs, lows, thrill and spills

Hydrospeed Scotlands longest river
(World first)
SUP the longest lakes of Scotland, England, and Wales - (World first)
SUP Scotland's longest freshwater loch,
loch Awe (World first)
SUP – St Kilda (World first)
Aquaseil UK's highest waterfall
(World first)
SUP around the Isle of Bute
(World first)
Speed Ride 2-up on 1 set of skis
(World first)
Swim UK's highest loch/lake
(World first)
SUP around island of Kerrea
(World first)
SUP highest loch, Etchachan
(World first)
SUP the 150km Argyll Sea Kayak Trail (World first)
SUP 50km from Scilly Isles to UK
(World blind first & first on inflatable)
SUP full 96km length of Caledonian Canal
(World blind first)
Participate in Oban sea Kayak race
(World blind first)
Flyboard
(World blind first)
SUP Loch Tay solo
(World blind first)
Swim across Firth of Forth
(World blind first)
SUP Inverness to Fort William non-stop
(World blind first)
Bungee jump from a helicopter
(World blind first)
Thrown by a Human Catapult
(World blind first)
Traverse Sa Fosca, 1 of world’s top 10 canyons - (World blind first)
Swim across Corryvreckan Gulf
(World blind first)
Participate in 5 day Hebridean Challenge
(World blind first)
Sledge world's highest com. waterfall
(World blind first)
Set a Thundercat powerboat record
(World blind first)

"At Design in Action we are always looking for great speakers to deliver inspiring and insightful talks to our audiences. Dean Dunbar was a great asset to our outdoor sport themed event, where he spoke to a large audience made up of businesses, academics and designers. Through his talk, he was able to inspire every single person in the room by telling his story of bravery, excitement and his passion for extreme sport. Dean Dunbar is one of the best public speakers I have ever come across and am privileged to have met."

Dawn Campbell
Design in Action University of Dundee

Read more testimonials here testimonial read more arrow

dean dunbar kayak testimonial

SPEAKING

Having taken on well over 100 challenges around the world and set over 25 world firsts, Dean has a large repertoire to draw upon.  Whether it be talking about becoming the first person to abseil the UK’s highest waterfall, or swim the UK’s highest loch, or being the first registered blind person to stand up paddle-board from the Scilly Isles to Cornwall, or bungee jump from a helicopter, Dean has many experiences to share.

Dean has come up against many barriers, with many people telling him that it wouldn’t be possible for a blind person to do these things.  Over the years he has made contact with some amazing people with a more “can do” attitude, and they have helped him to prove that the naysayers were wrong.

Dean talks enthusiastically about his hunt for adrenaline, and how being registered blind has not held him back.  In fact, sometimes this has been his driving force, to prove to himself and the world that being registered blind does not have to be a barrier.

Dean believes that disability does not always equate to inability, and lack of sight does not mean lack of vision.

The audience are in for an entertaining, and alternative look at adventure, and should walk away saying “if that numpty can do it, what’s stopping me!?!”

 

TALKS

  • Dean has talked at many different types of events ranging from adventure festivals, (from London to Fort William), education groups, (schools to university), commerce groups, and several private sports/outdoor clubs.
  • Dean has talked at venues ranging from village halls to Holyrood Palace.
  • He has also introduced and shown two of his films – “A Man in a Hurry” and “SUP it and See” – at the Dundee Mountain Film Festival.
  • On Thursday 23rd of April, Dean will be talking at the Buxton Adventure Festival.