Any child or young (at heart) 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 Surfer!
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. 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 arrive at the beach at 5:00 P.M. and start getting into their wetsuits. At 5:00pm volunteers also 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 5:00pm. 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.
Yes, of course, but our waivers are now handled electronically and are included in the registration process. We will also have paper waivers available for day-of volunteers. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate day-of participant registrations.
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.
Special Surfers would like to thank the family of Dr. Terry Farrell, our good friend and Medical Director. We would like to express our love and sympathy to his loved ones.