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Inspired by his newborn son Luke, surf legend Shaun Tomson has created “Surf Creatures,” an innovative children’s storybook iPhone app for families featuring 26 animated rhymes about fierce and friendly creatures that live under his surfboard.” Surf Creatures” is the very first and only application of its kind to feature Storytalk™, enabling up to four people to record their own voices so the whole family can rhyme about the cool creatures that live in the surf zone.
Santa Barbara, Calif.— A year after the birth of his son Luke, world champion and eternally stoked surfer Shaun Tomson releases “Surf Creatures,” an iPhone storybook application of rhymes for children about the ocean and its fascinating sea life. Tomson’s countless trips to the beach have led to many close encounters with some of the sea’s most interesting creatures, including killer whales, sea lions, turtles, and great white sharks. While reminiscing about one particularly special trip to the beach, Tomson decided to write and record Surf Creatures.
Though Tomson has won many prestigious surfing events, no beach trip has been more memorable for him than a quiet one he took with his late son Mathew in 2000. Mathew built a large circle of smooth rocks on the beach, which he called the “Sacred Story Circle.” For the rest of the morning, Tomson and his son sat in the Circle and traded stories back and forth.
“It was incredibly painful for my wife and I to lose Mathew when he was only 15,” Tomson says. “But I’ll always cherish the memory of that morning when we told each other stories in our own private world of fantasy inside the story circle. I hardly remember what stories we told, but what we did and what it symbolized—the pair of us totally connected to each other though our stories with the sound of surf in the background—will always be with me.”
In developing Surf Creatures, Tomson’s experience with Mathew and the Sacred Story Circle inspired him to create an application that would bring families together through story telling. Not only can users hear Tomson read the tale, but through the app’s unique Storytalk™ feature, they have the option of recording their own voices for their children. Thus, a parent away on business will be able to record their own reading of the rhymes, so their child can listen to and be comforted by their parent’s voice before going to bed.
“I never thought I’d be writing rhymes at 55 years old,” says Tomson. “Life has given my wife and I a second chance at happiness with the recent birth of Luke and I love writing for him. Storytelling is so important to all parents and children, and now new mobile technology can add to a tradition that is thousands of years old.”
In addition to Storytalk™, Surf Creatures contains beautifully illustrated graphics along with sound effects and music to educate and entertain children and parents about creatures that live in the surf zone.
Recommendations for Surf Creatures
"Surf Creatures makes me feel like I am 6 years old again - and then I could look forward to 60 more years of surfing. I love it!" - Ricky Grigg, Professor of Oceanography, University of Hawaii
"One of the most important things the Surfrider Foundation feels a child can do is connect with our oceans, and we love Surf Creatures for that reason. It is wonderful that this application strives to build that relationship at a young age and make it personal by allowing a familiar voice to tell a story from the sea animal's perspective." - Jim Moriarty, CEO, Surfrider Foundation
“Excellent and entertaining way for children to learn about the fascinating creatures beneath the surface of the sea - very, very cool. I love it!” Hillary Hauser, Executive Director, Heal the Ocean
"Shaun is a surfing icon and knows a lot about the surf zone. This app is an excellent and amusing way for kids and parents to learn about creatures that underneath his surfboard."Jack O'Neill - inventor of the wetsuit, entrepreneur and environmentalist
Surf Creatures’ Features
26 rhymes about the fierce and friendly creatures that live in the surf zone—all written by world champion surfer Shaun Tomson!
Over 80 pages of stunning, hand-drawn images of the aquatic inhabitants.
Wacky sound effects and catchy music to enhance the user's audio experience.
Helps to improve reading and listening comprehension skills.
Promotes reading in young children as words are highlighted when spoken.
Teaches children all about the creatures that live in the surf zone, making them more environmentally aware.
Mom, Dad, Grandpa and Grandma can all record their own voices to be able to read to the child even when they are not present.
About Shaun Tomson
Shaun Tomson has been listed as one of the 25 most influential surfers of the century and as one of the 16 greatest surfers of all time. He is a business finance graduate of the University of Natal, in Durban, South Africa.
He is the author of the best-selling book Surfer’s Code– 12 Simple Lessons for Riding Through Life and the producer of the award-winning documentary film Bustin’ Down the Door. Tomson is a businessman and environmentalist who resides in Santa Barbara, California, with his wife Carla and young son Luke. He is an inspirational speaker for corporations, schools and universities and is working on new book, film and apparel projects. He is a board member and ambassador for Surfrider Foundation, the world’s largest environmental group dedicated to protecting the world’s ocean, waves and beaches.
He still spends time searching for the perfect wave, while doing his best to avoid Tiger Sharks and Zambezis.