Heal The Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, the Black Surfers Collective and other groups will offer a day of activities and free surf lessons for all ages to commemorate the life of Nick Gabaldón (1927 - 1951), the first documented surfer of African-American and Mexican descent, and the heritage of the historical African American beach site, formerly referred to as the "Inkwell." Gabaldón’s legacy has inspired many surfers of color and otherwise to consider him as a role model. His passion, athleticism and love for the ocean live on as the quintessential qualities of the California surfer.
The Bay Street/Inkwell site was a popular beach hangout for African Americans during the nation's Jim Crow era, from the 1900s to 1960s. Gabaldón had his first experiences with the ocean at the Inkwell. In 2008 the City of Santa Monica officially recognized the "Inkwell" and Gabaldon for their cultural significance in local, California and American history.
To learn more about him, check out the newly published encyclopedia entry by Alison Rose Jefferson and Rick Blocker entitled “Nick Gabaldón (1927 - 1951)” or watch the trailer for documentary film "12 Miles North: The Nick Gabaldon Story."
9 a.m. - Welcoming Ceremony and Memorial Paddle Out in honor of Nick Gabaldón (at Bay Street/Ocean Front Walk)
On Nick Gabaldón Day, Heal the Bay premiered its eco-surf mobile app, SurfGod HtB - produced in partnership with Torrid Games - a unique, 1st-person game for iPhone/iPad where players surf a wave by tilting their mobile device and score points by grabbing trash out of the water as it flies by. SurfGod HtB is a fun, interactive way to teach people of all ages about the problem of pollution in the ocean. The main character is inspired by surf legend Nick Gabaldón and one of the boards features artwork from the film White Wash.
Just Announced! Rusty's Surf Ranch will provide a 10% 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 a.m.) to sundown. Also enjoy their Nick Gabaldon Day drink special!