Nike Documentaries presents 12 Miles North: the Nick Gabaldon Story

A new doc tells the mega-inspiring story of Nick Gabaldon, the first African American surfer

Spotlight // Sarah Hardt // 02/13/12
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Defying all odds against him, African American surf legend Nick Gabaldon made a name for himself riding the turbulent waves of Malibu amongst a prejudiced beach community in the 1940s.

As crazy as it sounds to us now, there was only one beach in West Los Angeles during that time where people of color felt at ease catching the surf, sand and sun. Known as the Ink Well, Nick first taught himself how to surf after borrowing a lifeguard's paddle board on this secluded beach. But like any true go-getter he wasn't satisfied in just one spot. Cleverly beating the racial restrictions at the other popular beaches, Nick began paddling the 12 mile distance from Ink Well to Malibu and showed his talent amongst all the the local surf stars including Ricky Grigg and Buzzy Trent.

On June 6th, 1951 Nick caught a Malibu wave (story has it was as tall as ten feet) that hit a pylon and tragically ended Nick's life. This inspirational story is this subject of a new Nike documentary aptly titled 12 Miles North: the Nick Gabaldon Story. Watch the trailer NOW:

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