Southern Maryland Surfing Legend Selected For National Surfing Walk Of Fame

CHESAPEAKE BEACH, Md. — On Thursday, August 4th, a Southern Maryland surfing legend will be immortalized in Huntington Beach, California when he joins the National Surfing Walk of Fame. 

This individual will now be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with surfing icons such as Mark Richard, Duke Kahanamoku, and Jack McCoy.

Bruce Gabrielson, AKA “The Huntington Beach Snake,” has been surfing for over 50 years now and has been a longtime advocate for surfing. He received his nickname for how skilled he was in competitions in his hometown of Huntington Beach, California.

Gabrielson is known for co-founding the very first American collegiate surfing league, as well as playing a role in turning surfing into a recognized high school sport in California.

He moved to Maryland in the 1980s and began to work for Naval Research Labs. Using the skills he picked up at this job he would create what is arguably the first surfing website ever created.

Gabrielson quickly began to work to make surfing a more popular commodity in the state. He opened the Surfing Museum and Surf Art Gallery in the town of Chesapeake Beach in Calvert County in the year 2000, he also co-founded the Annapolis Surf Club in the mid-2000s, the first East Coast Club to become a member of the Coalition of Surf Clubs. 

He also revived Caravan Surf Club in the Washington DC region and became a member of the Ocean City Surf Club.

Gabrielson is also an accomplished surfing publicist and historian. He worked as the Surfing Editor for the Orange County Daily Pilot Newspaper and The Huntington Beach News. 

Over the years, he has written almost 30 articles across a wide variety of publications, his most famous and well-known article being “Is Surfing Still a Sport? – The Culture of Catching Waves”. 

Gabrielson has even published multiple books and papers, such as The Complete Surfing Guide for Coaches. His writings have earned him official recognition as a surfing historian by the Bishop Museum in Hawaii.

When he found out about his nomination he was surprised.

“I won the balloting against such a strong field, but I’ve done a lot of things for surfing. I always felt I would get in at some point. I know most of those already on the walk so now I’m just one of the boys.”

Gabrielson, now 75 years old, remains involved with the sport in a variety of ways. He continues to build surfboards, attend surf club events, write surf books, give tours at his surfing museum, and runs a surfing booth on kid’s day at the Calvert County Fair.

“I find that it is harder to surf now that I’m in my mid-70s, but at least I get in the surf every now and then.”

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