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“Great surf collection - right here in Chesapeake Beach from the real deal”

Bruce Snake Gabrielson's Surf Art Gallery and Museum
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Recognized as a top cultural site by the Maryland Department of Tourism, this free museum contains several rare historical artifacts from the surfing world collected by surfing legend Bruce Gabrielson over a 60 year period. Displays include Dale Velzey's original 1950's templates and planer, an original Makaha Skateboard, the first day edition of the Duke Stamp from both Huntington Beach and Waikiki, signed posters from numerous surfing legends, a signed poster from the Wooden Year's exhibit opening at the International Surfing Museum, a set of Rick Griffin drawings, plus paintings and photos from artists and surf photographers from the East and West Coast. Several antique boards are also on display. The museum is located in the offices of the National Surf Schools and Instructors Association. During the summer months the museum is open when the surf isn't great and in the evenings with reservations preferred.
Owings, MD
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great surf collection - right here in Chesapeake Beach from the real deal”
Reviewed February 16, 2013

Bruce is the genuine article; a Huntington Beach transplant who was there for some of the pivotal moments in surf history. He has some rare and unique items in the collection, and can talk story with the best of them. This place is a gem, and if you have any interest in surf history - go here.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Britt B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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17 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Long Branch, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Surf ART, Rare Photos, Surf History-Good Times!”
Reviewed December 17, 2012

I recently came down to Maryland from NJ for the NSSIA class for surf instructor accreditation. Bruce was great. He gave me a tour of his surf museum and surf shop. Some of the highlights were Dale "The Hawk" Velzy's shaping tools, a signed poster from Greg "Da Bull" Knoll's iconic photo from Pipeline, rare Duke photos, great surf art and one of a kind surfboards. I highly recommend stopping by if you are in the area to meet a living legend, learn about the history of surfing and check out some very cool interesting surf artifacts. I've been surfing for over 20 years and learned a ton of new information about surfing history. Great for surfers and non surfers alike. Thanks Bruce! Aloha

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank Bryan Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Surfing with the Snake - A history of Surfing”
Reviewed December 15, 2012

Today we left the inner of confines of the Washington Beltway to take a trip back to a time when surfing was just becoming a bona fide aspect of American Culture. To do so, however, did not entail a trip to Huntington Beach California aka "Surf City", but instead to the placid shores of Chesapeake Beach in Calvert County MD where Bruce "Snake" Gabrielson lives surrounded by his surfing memorabilia, a kennel full of dogs and a bunch of free roaming chickens. A protege of famed surfboard shaper Dale "The Hawk" Velzy who mentored many of the best shapers from the 60's, Snake was also a competitive surfer in the 60's and 70's. What a character. Bruce is steeped in surfing stories and is happy to show you his surfing memorabilia and art. His place is well worth a trip if you are in the neighborhood and you want to swap surf stories and see his collection. He also teaches surfing and stand-up paddle boarding and runs a nonprofit called the National Surf Schools and Instructors Association which provides standards for and certifies surfing and paddle board instructors.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank StandupandSurf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Step into surfing history with one of the greats and view a plethora of rare surf culture itrms.”
Reviewed November 11, 2012

A little hidden gem of a museum off the beaten path but well worth the visit. Its primarily set in the 60s when surf culture really began to pick up speed, each item is a personal treasure to the owner and curator Bruce "Snake" who is full of stories and is generous in sharing them. For anyone that is even remotely interested in surfing I highly recommend stopping in for a couple of hours!

Helpful?
5 Thank ncarper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethany Beach
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“memories”
Reviewed November 11, 2012

Had a chance to stop by Bruce's museun and found it very enjoyable. I grew up surfing in the same era as Bruce and had a lot of fun with the recollections prompted by some of the items contained in Bruce's collection. Everything is displayed nicely. I would encourage people to visit especially those wanting to learn more of surfing's history as Bruce can recount many things to go along with the many pictures and displays.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank Jack P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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