A free day of activities and free surf lessons for all
ages will be held this Saturday in Santa Monica to commemorate the life of Nick
Gabaldón (1927 - 1951).
Gabaldón was the first documented surfer of
African-American and Mexican descent, and surfed at historically African
American beach site, formerly referred to as the “Ink Well.”
Gabaldón’s legacy has inspired many surfers of color and
otherwise to consider him as a role model.
Heal The Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, the Black
Surfers Collective, and other groups will host various activities throughout
At 9 am, there will be a welcoming ceremony and Memorial
Paddle Out in honor of Gabaldón at Bay Street/Ocean Front Walk.
From 10 am to 1 pm there will be free surf sessions
provided by Black Surfers Collective and the Surf Bus Foundation (surf lessons
must be reserved in advance, see link below).
At 12:30 pm, a beach reception will be held with L.A.
County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.
At 1 pm the celebration moves to Heal the Bay’s Aquarium
at the Santa Monica Pier where admission will be offered for free. Activities
at the aquarium include a documentary screening of “12 Miles North” about
Gabaldón’s life (1:45 pm and 4:15 pm), a children’s story time with special
guest reader (2:30 pm), and screening of the documentary “White Wash” that
explores the complexity of race in America through the eyes of the ocean (2:45
Rusty’s Surf Ranch in Santa Monica will provide a 10
percent discount on food and beverage for the day to anyone who mentions Nick
Gabaldon Day, the Black Surfers Collective, or Heal the Bay from opening (11
am) to sundown.
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