Frequently Asked Questions
Who is considered a Special Surfer?
Any child or young (or mature even!) adult who has special needs (physical, mental or emotional) is welcome to come. Please consult with your doctor if you have concerns. If you feel like your child or young adult is a good candidate, bring us your special SuperSurfer!
What is Special Surfer Night?
Special Surfer Night is an evening where special needs kids get to bulldoze their way into the mainstream world of surfing where they feel powerful and focused. Special Surfer Night is the brainchild of Maureen Dow, a Special Education Teacher at Morrison Center. Maureen called in 2003 and asked if we’d take a few kids on the Spectrum (Autism/Aspergers) out for a surf class. We took 3 kids, and the program has been growing ever since.
Where does the event take place? Where do I park?
Our flagship program runs at Gooch’s Beach (AKA Kennebunk Beach). We set up at the center lifeguard stand (across the street from Crescent Ave). You can’t miss us, look for all the surfboards! The town of Kennebunk waives the parking requirements so that all spaces are available. Please leave the closest spots for the physically handicapped if you are able to walk. We will have shuttles leaving from Washington Hose Company at 159 Port Rd, Kennebunk, ME 04043. The shuttles are making constant loops, so park, walk to the corner and hop aboard. There is also ample parking on Bayberry Ave, Surf Ave, Peninsula Ave and Beach Ave. Please send a nice thank you note to Kathy Nolette at town hall for taking care of this for us! And please be courteous to the residents, park politely!
When is Special Surfer Night?
Always the third Tuesday of June, July and August. Every summer. Third Tuesday of the summer months. ALWAYS. Surf starts at 5:30 P.M. The Special Surfers (SuperSurfers) arrive at the beach at 5:00 P.M. and start getting into their wetsuits. At 5:00 HEROES, (Volunteers not SuperSurfers) need to go to the beach and check in with one of our Volunteer Coordinators.
What if it's raining?
We surf in the rain, unless there is thunder and lightning . While we realize many of you come from far away, we understand that it takes a lot of planning and coordination to come to these "splash parties". When thunder and lightning are forecast, we will make the call to run or cancel the event AT 5:00. There are often over 300 people planning to attend, so we would like to give this our best effort to get as much water time as we can. Safety is our number 1 concern, and we will rely on the safety team at the events to advise us when weather is eminent. Often beach weather is very different from inland weather, so please feel free to decide for yourself whether it's worth the drive. We understand if you cancel last minute, so do what is right for you.
How do I register my Special Needs Surfer?
You can sign up your special surfer here. (Volunteers & Participants.)
Do I need to sign a waiver?
Yes, of course. Participants and Volunteers need to sign waivers. Don't forget to print and fill out your waiver... if you bring your completed waiver, it will save everyone a bunch of time! Download waivers here.
Become a Partner
We have many donation options, from boards, wetsuits, equipment and wish list items, (transporting equipment and logistical support) to covering insurance costs, website and fixed costs to little things like ink, paper and zip ties! Please contact us if you'd like to become involved.
Special Surfers would like to express our deep gratitude and sympathy to the family of our friend Andy Giles. Andy was a fun loving surfer who always had a smile on his face. Ride on Andy.