The Best Beach Toy for Your Kids This Summer

The ingeniously designed Surfer Dudes provide an unreasonable amount of fun.

Children playing with Surfer Dudes in the waves.
Surfer Dudes

Last year, on an episode of Slate’s Culture Gabfest, the “De-Snappening Edition,” Julia Turner recommended a beach toy called Surfer Dudes that her family had enjoyed on vacation. She was so effusive, she (jokingly) clarified that her endorsement was not an ad. You can read a condensed transcript of her endorsement below.

Julia Turner: I want to endorse a really great toy that I recently enjoyed on my vacation. We were given by their grandmother two Surfer Dudes, [which] is a toy that is like a little plastic figure on a big foam board, with a serious kind of daggerboard underneath it that you can hurl a hundred feet into a wave and it will surf [back] towards you.

If you have children as I do, who are about 6 years old and good at swimming in pools but not quite comfortable in an ocean yet, this is a great toy for developing ocean comfort. It requires vigilance—playing in the waves—[kids] can get knocked and washing-machined and tumbled. But the particular types of waves we were in were the exact right strength to tumble a kid and just make them feel more confident because they could pop right back up again—they weren’t really too big or scary. And it’s just a toy that works like a charm. We all spent hours and hours and hours, standing at the edge of the ocean, hurling these little plastic doohickeys into the ocean and watching them surf. They right themselves, they’re like ocean weeble-wobbles, so they’ll pop back up and really surf a little ways.

They’re very ingeniously designed and very addictive. They were so fun. As we were playing with them on the beach everyone kept stopping and [asking], “Where did you get those? Those look amazing!

Surfer Dude on the beach
Surfer Dudes