08 May 2011

Flat Stanley Goes Surfing

Hi, I'm Flat Stanley. My young friend Kerra sent me all the way from Missouri to visit Aunt Cynthia near San Francisco. She surfs, and I've been excited to take a lesson since I got here. Aunt Cynthia made me a wetsuit because the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Northern California is cold, only in the low 50s. Unfortunately the surf conditions haven't been very nice since I got here: too windy, too messy, or too big for a little beginner like me. But I have to fly back home on USPS on Tuesday, so this weekend was my last chance to try surfing.
I like that surfboard!
We left the house really early, before dawn, and ended up on a surf safari looking for a place that had good waves without too much wind ruining them. Aunt Cynthia's home break, the Jetty in Half Moon Bay, was mostly clean (that means that water was pretty smooth, not too choppy from the wind), but the waves were tiny. I thought they looked just my size and they would have been perfect if I'd had the little surfboard that Cynthia's friend J-Bird made for their buddy Luke's funny birthday hat.

The waves at the Jetty were too small for Aunt Cynthia so we drove farther south to check another spot that is more exposed to the open ocean swell. Dunes Beach is a California State Park and I thought it was really neat. There were spring flowers blooming all around, and we saw a bunch of brush rabbits! But the waves were no good there either.
Can you spot the rabbit in this photo?
Pretty flowers but ugly waves
Driving north, we passed the Jetty again (still tiny) and Montara State Beach (bigger and messier waves), then stopped at Linda Mar. Aunt Cynthia said that's a good place to learn to surf, because the beach slopes gradually. While the waves still looked too poor for an experienced surfer, there was some fun little whitewater (broken waves) for me to play in. First we practiced "popping up", which is when a surfer jumps from lying down to standing up in one fluid motion. It's harder than it looks!
Then we went out into the waves close to shore. Wheee! Look at me, I'm surfing!
I'm sorry that Aunt Cynthia didn't get to surf this morning too. She called that "getting skunked". But I had a great time and can't wait go surfing again!


  1. Don't you have Flat Stanley in Oz? I'd never heard of it either, until the 6-year-old daughter of my niece sent me one.

    I was hoping to tandem-surf with him in some better waves though ;)

  2. Cute. What the hell is a Flat Stanley. I'll Google it.....

  3. OK I clicked on the link (der) Hmmm...some potential there to use a bigger version of Flat Stanley as a surfboard. Maybe you could paint one on....