×
Login

Gabaldon, Nick


America's first known African-American surfer, Nick Gabaldon of Los Angeles (born 1927) taught himself how to ride waves in the mid-1940s from inside a segregated strip of Santa Monica oceanfront known as "Negro Beach" or "Inkwell Beach." He was encouraged by surfing champion and longtime Santa Monica lifeguard Pete Peterson, as well as future big-wave kingpin Buzzy Trent.

Gabaldon graduated from Santa Monica High School in 1945, and enlisted in Navy. Before the decade was out, he enrolled i...