3 // BFM 2014 // Nick Galbaldon x Oumar Seye
Posted on February 3, 2014
I got into surfing, recently. By that I mean to say I bought a wetsuit, I rent a board, and once or twice a month I go out to get pummeled by the Pacific Ocean. Nothing cute about it. I spurt salt water for days after. I can count the number of times I’ve managed to stand on the board on half-a-four-fingered hand. When I’m Bayside I spend a good deal of time in Pacifica, but when I’m in LA (where I swear to BLISS I pay rent), I make my way out to Santa Monica and take classes with the Black Surfers Association/Network.
I got a chance to get out with them for some lessons on Nick Gabaldon Day. Nick Gabaldon is the first documented African American surfer (also of Latino descent) who broke the color line by integrating Santa Monica and Malibu beaches. The video above is the trailer for the Nike-produced documentary about his life. Click here for a link to the full doc, which was recently released online.
I’d also like to spotlight the work of Senegalese surfer Oumar Seye, who started his Ngor Surfer’s Paradise — the first of its kind in Senegal. The Surf Club hosts classes, camp, an and annual trophy competition which has been folded into Rip Curl’s West Africa Tour. As Seye’s destination near Senegal’s capital city of Dakar grows in popularity, so, too, does the market for surf along the coast.
Surf enthusiasts the world round are taking notice of the small island off the coast of Senegal — and there are also clubs popping up in Ghana. Rip Curl’s presence now spans from Morocco to The Congo (though Africa is the only surf-ready continent not highlighted on the company’s site). As I gather it, there are a few surf camps and classes on Ngor — there’s surf presence with some of the major hotels, inclusive of Club Med, as well as few independent camps on the island of Ngor. But it’s Oumar who started the contest that first brought attention to the region. This is one of the better videos showcasing his efforts, though it happens to be in french. My bad, though. Ma mauvais.
Wait til I get my money right, though. I’m going to pack up my lil wetsuit, hop the first flight from my westside, to Africa’s West Coast and maybe learn to stand in the motherland?
For more information on LA’s Black Surfers Association/Black Surf Network check out their facebook page.
For more information on Oumar Seye’s Surfer’s Paradise in N’gor, click here.