Rick Blocker

Independent Historian

Rick Blocker is a surfer, the founder of BlackSurfing.com and a retired Los Angeles Unified School District teacher. BlackSurfing.com represents the efforts of a small community of surfers of color, who sought to change the world’s perception of surfing. The website resources provide a foundation for further investigation into the story of black aquatic tradition in Southern California and a few other locales.
Blocker earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Items from Blocker’s collection and his expertise were included in the “How We Roll: Cultural Influences in Skateboarding, Surfing and Rollerskating” exhibit (2010) at the California African American Museum. He is a featured surfer/surf historian in the documentary movie, “White Wash.” Blocker is also the author of “Black Surfer Nick Gabaldon,” February 2005 article, for Legendary Surfers blog/Surfing Heritage Foundation.

He began surfing at age twelve, and became the third generation of family members to enjoy the Santa Monica beach area sometimes known as the “Inkwell.” Blocker participated in the first volunteer Los Angeles public school busing program for racial equality in the early 1960s. While traveling from his home in the West Adams District to the Brentwood area, his interests in the arts, music, skateboarding and surfing developed.

Nicolas Rolando [“Nick”] Gabaldon (1927-1951)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Surfing aficionados credit Nick Gabaldon as California’s first documented surfer of African and Mexican American descent. A skilled recreational surfer, his legacy has inspired many, including especially surfers of color, to consider him as a role model. Born Nicolas Rolando “Nick” … Read MoreNicolas Rolando [“Nick”] Gabaldon (1927-1951)