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Thu, Jul

Black surfers convene at A Great Day in the Stoke

Photo by Earl Gibson III

Sports

The yearly event features a surfing competition, lessons, a yoga class and live music.

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By Blake Carter

Last year’s inaugural A Great Day in the Stoke in Huntington Beach was an overwhelming success and this year’s event looks to be even better.  Last year’s event was the largest gathering of Black surfers ever.

“A Great Day in the Stoke is important because it celebrates the existence of Black people and our love for surfing,” said Nathan Fluellen, founder of A Great Day in the Stoke.  “The league gives surfers from across the African diaspora an opportunity to showcase their talent.  And it changes the narrative of what a surfer looks like.”  

This event features a surfing competition for the advanced level surfers, and free surfing lessons for the novices.  The event also promotes health and wellness with a beach yoga class and information about proper skin care while spending long hours in the sun.  There will be a DJ creating a party atmosphere, a vendor market and an award ceremony to celebrate competition winners and honor people who paved the way for Black surfers.

“We honor Black surf pioneers because you have to know where you came from to know where you are going,” Fluellen said.  “I call them our OGs, and giving them their roses is essential.  Last year we honored Tony Corley, founder of the Black Surfing Association 1975, and Sharon Schaffer, the first Black female professional surfer.”  

This event takes place on Saturday, September 16, at Huntington Beach Pier from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.  To register for this free event, visit www.agreatdayinthestoke.com.