Sammy, a baby seal, is learning to surf at San Diego’s Tourmaline Surf Park in the United States. He has become the park’s latest attraction, as he tries to catch waves on the surfers’ boards, much to the delight of local beachgoers.
Armed with his curiosity and sense of adventure, Sammy has been spotted climbing aboard surfboards. Videographer Ed Hartel, who first captured footage of Sammy’s antics, was taken aback by the unusual sight: “To have one in the wild just randomly start swimming up and getting on surfboards, yes, I would say that’s pretty unusual.”
But Sammy’s behavior didn’t stop at only climbing onto the boards. Hartel observed that the baby seal seemed to actively try to ride the waves, demonstrating a clear intent and apparent understanding of surfing dynamics.
“He would single out a longboard rider and chase the longboards down. He would get on the nose and just rotate, getting in his ‘banana pose,’ as if he was imitating the surfers,” Hartel described.
Hartel first noticed Sammy when he was looking for surfers to film. Initially, he thought it was a one-off occurrence. But Sammy seemed to have other plans.
“I noticed he wasn’t leaving the board. He was staying there,” Hartel explained, adding that the seal would hop from one board to another, spending about 20 minutes on each before moving on. After all, who said surfing is just for humans?