Surf parties in Los Angeles offer collective healing

Salt water can heal wounds in many ways. Be in it and around it, feel its presence seep into you – it has the power to cleanse you from the inside out. Brick knew the changing gravity of the ocean. That’s why he and his best friend, Gage Crismond, started the surf and arts club Ebony Beach Club. Formerly known as Black Sand, the collective is hosting monthly gatherings throughout the summer at Dockweiler Beach – dubbed the Beach Bounce – where Brick and his friends are DJs and surf organizations Local waves including Color the Water and Sofly Surf School offer free surfing classes. Beach Bounce has taken on a life of its own in just a few months. People rushed away, they told their friends to do the same. Ebony Beach Club has shown that a surf party can be a vehicle for something deeper: collective healing. In this essay, as told by Julissa James, Brick shows why partying is a method of recovery. Whether you are in need of healing from witnessing or experiencing pain – in the world, in yourself – celebration offers a clean medium.


Celebrations end a lot of things. When you have a moment that you can celebrate, it closes the last door and opens the next. It is a renewal. To go out and have a good time after you’ve been stressed for three days – or even when we experience the death of a family member who wants to get organized – there are certain types of serotonin that will secreted. It brings all the best parts to the top, to the top. Music, weather, try something new. Celebration is the end for all.

A woman in a red dress and white crop top in a beach parking lot

Ebony Beach Club hosts a “Beach Bounce” on the second Sunday of every month during the summer. The gathering was like ‘a party, with the option to heal,’ says Brick.

(Gage Crismond and Brennen Daniels)

The original Ebony Beach Club was founded by a man named Silas White in 1957. At the time, there were other Santa Monica beach clubs on offer, but obviously Blacks. unauthorized. His whole idea was: There’s no place for Negroes to have leisure time. Entertainment has always been a white man’s ultimate tool. He opened it at 1811 Ocean Ave., hung a big sign, 2,000 registered members. And of course, before officially opening, the city of Santa Monica has claimed sovereignty over the famous territory in space.

My mom recently visited my grandfather, 90 years old maybe 89 years old, and used to be a city planner for LA His name is Donald Dove. She told him what I was doing, and then he said, “Oh, I signed up for Ebony Beach Club in 1957. It never opened.” My grandfather, who couldn’t swim, could have had the opportunity to learn and here he is today.

Ultimately that’s what it’s all about: reinventing beach culture in general. Especially the forward-looking American beach culture and certainly the Southern California beach culture, which always excludes us. What we are doing today is the exact rebirth of [the original Ebony Beach Club]. As we expand it and move forward, I want it to be a place for entertainment, it’s a healing experience. It’s a spiritual experience, especially when you start to find a tribe in it. At the last Beach Bounce, there were between 250 and 300 people – twice as many as before. I feel next time it will be 500.

People gather on a beach, a lively parking lot in the background.

Refreshing the entire beach culture is what Ebony Beach Club is all about.

(Gage Crismond and Brennen Daniels)

That’s what’s great: Since everyone’s gathered for the same reason, everyone wants to interact and talk to each other. Everyone has the same vibe and everyone is very open-minded. When I DJ on my El Camino back, I go straight as a positive. I would dance between ’90s R&B, new jack swing, stuff like that. Then I’ll come in with some funky, bubbly, bubbly soul vibes of reggae, then James Brown, and also Ja Rule and Ashanti.

There’s plenty of space to heal through that. People are sharing suits, sharing boards, there’s a lot of exchange going on. We are in the sun and we are touching the water. It’s like a party with the option to heal or find something new. People are challenging themselves, but then they can go right to a party [on the beach] and being accepted and embraced and embraced by others who look like them. I call it like putting drugs in candy.

A man DJing on the beach

“The whole problem we’re trying to solve – not being allowed – the real answer to that is: Why don’t we just find and make space for each other?” Brick said.

(Gage Crismond and Brennen Daniels)

The whole problem we’re trying to solve – not being allowed – the real answer to that is: Why don’t we just find and make space for each other? They’ll always have a place they like, I can come here and surf. I can come here and try to learn. Even if I don’t go out 29 days a month, there is still a day when I can rise. It created the solution for us. In the future, we want to do different experiences in the water, fishing experience like Silas planned and organize a party on the yacht. Hopefully we’ll be doing some overseas travel or group trips to a resort at some point. Let’s really keep building it to where it’s an experiential, fully immersive club with the underlying message we all believe in.

It made me emotional, like I was about to cry when I saw that scene, because I just knew that this was something I would think about one day in my hospital bed. I did a lot of things and I learned a lot along the way. I feel like what’s happening now is the most unexpected turn of all of my skills and experiences coming together in one useful and healing and important place. To see others start that, I always say it’s like a conduit or a catalyst for whatever you really are. That energy flows into anything and whoever you are. It amplifies you because there are so many elements in it and people can find it in different ways. It’s not just through surfing, it’s about that Thing. There’s that thing that puts the battery in your back. It is the connection with nature, people.

Three men, two on the right topless and one on the right smoking, in front of a car with a surfboard sticking out

Brick, center, co-founded Ebony Beach Club with his best friend, Gage Crismond, has left. “I feel like what is happening now is the most unexpected turn of all of my skills and experiences coming together in one useful, healing, and important place,” says Brick. speak.

(Gage Crismond and Brennen Daniels)

When I surf the web, I don’t really have time to think about everything. When you’re under the waves and there’s a bigger one coming and you’re rowing out and then you see another guy and you’re trying not to get in his way but still get hit by the waves… you don’t think about any of it. something else The whole time. Even in that moment when I’m just sitting out there in the stillness – I’m waiting, I’m patient, I’m looking to the horizon to see if something comes along. So it’s hard to say, “Oh s—, did I send that PDF?” It’s hard to think about. There’s nothing I can do about it even if I realize something. just be present and completely exempt from the world.

I’m doing what I’m watching others do with this party – [surfing, finding community] – is what opened the channel of all these changes in my life, and this feeling: I am truly finding my true purpose. It’s the convergence of all the worlds in the best possible way. So happy that everyone is there. I received a lot of personal crashes after that, unlike the other parties I threw. Like, “That’s like the church today.” Surf parties in Los Angeles offer collective healing

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