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 the day.
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 pm).
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.