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Nick Gabaldón Day

June 2 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm


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Join the Black Surfers CollectiveThe Surf Bus Foundation and Heal the Bay for a day of beach activities and free surf lessons to commemorate the life of Nick Gabaldon (1927 – 1951).


Nick was the first documented surfer of African-American and Mexican descent, and Gabaldon’s legacy has inspired many surfers of color – many consider him as a role model. We welcome you to join us on this special day at the historical African American beach site formerly known as the “Inkwell,” as well as at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium.

Bay Street Beach 9am-1pm

  • 9:00am – Nick Gabaldon Tribute Paddle Out at Bay Street Beach
  • 10am-1:00pm – History tour and beach exploration with Heal the Bay and free surf lessons provided by Surf Bus. You must sign up to get a lesson so fill out this form online: https://goo.gl/forms/TKV0Pg3aaBjErYh33
  • Bring a picnic and enjoy lunch on the beach!
  • 1:00pm – Raffle on the beach

Santa Monica Pier Aquarium 1pm-6pm

The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium will be free for all visitors in honor of Nick on Saturday, June 2nd thanks to a grant from the California Coastal Conservancy. Celebrity guest readers will pop in for story time and special art activities will be offered, as well as screenings of three documentaries exploring issues of race, coastal access, and following your passion against all odds. The films include: “White Wash” (2011), “12 Miles North: The Nick Gabaldón Story” (2012) and – “The La Maestra (2014).

  • 1:30pm Documentary screening of “12 Miles North The Nick Gabaldón Story”
  • 2pm – Children’s Story Time
  • 3pm – “The La Maestra” documentary screening and Q&A with co-filmmakers Elizabeth Pepin Silva and Paul Farraris with Krista Comer
  • 4pm – Documentary screening of “White Wash”

Volunteer Surfers Needed! We can’t make this happen without your help. However, Surf Bus has new rules for surf instructors. ALL volunteers need to be CPR certified. Please sign up using this form if you can come down and help out for the day: goo.gl/P3gsqx. We also need volunteers to help get the kids manage wetsuits and boards on the sand.

Online CPR lessons are available from:
National CPR Foundation $16.95 https://www.nationalcprfoundation.com/courses/standard-cpr-aed/
Red Cross $25.00 http://www.redcross.org/

Check out Critical Surf Studies Discussion on Sunday! As a part of the sixth annual Nick Gabaldón Day celebration, join us for a thoughtful discussion that honors Nick Gabaldón, a pioneering surfer of African- and Mexican-American descent. A panel of contributors to The Critical Surf Studies Reader (2017), including Dexter Zavalza Hough-Snee, Krista Comer and Kevin Dawson and “La Maestra (The Teacher)” filmmaker Elizabeth Pepin Sliva, with moderator and historian Alison Rose Jefferson, will embark on a public conversation on their investigations into the global history of surfing, surfing as a social act, and conclusions that challenge notions of white bourgeois surf culture.


2030 Ocean Avenue
2030 Ocean Avenue (Park in lot 4S)
Santa Monica, CA 90405 United States
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Heal the Bay’s Event Calendar of Aquarium, Beach, Outreach, Community Science and Youth programs and activities in Los Angeles County.