Jacksonville nonprofit works to make surfing a more inclusive sport

DUVAL COUNTY, Fla. — A local nonprofit is inspiring young girls of color to take up the sport of surfing.

Gigi Lucas is the founder of SurfearNEGRA and she wants to make surfing more accessible to everyone in the community.

Lucas never thought a random surf lesson at 35 years old would change her life forever.

“When I took it and stood up on the board it reconnected me to everything that was like intrinsically myself. The play, the joy, the laughter, and I knew as soon as I stood up this is what I need to have in my life,” Lucas said.

She wanted to share that feeling with others especially women of color.

“Representation is really critical. When I was younger, I never saw anyone who looked like me,” Lucas said.

The surfboard, wetsuit, and lessons can cost hundreds and even thousands of dollars.

That’s why Lucas created SurfearNEGRA a nonprofit that sends girls to surf camps through their 100 girls’ program.

It is helping to bridge the gap, making surfing more accessible to everyone in the community.

“My whole life I’ve been up here, being honest I’ve never met like a colored surfer, but this organization is getting more women of color out there and I think it’s awesome,” said 16-year-old Nina Stouffer.

And now surfing is making its historic debut in the Tokyo Olympics this year, inspiring even more young athletes to reach new heights.

“And who knows, might be one of these girls out there surfing in the coming years representing United States. Who knows,” Lucas said.

Lucas told Action News Jax her nonprofit is always looking for donations to help more young girls take up surfing and even just volunteers to help cheer on these girls. To help sponsor a girl or for more information on the nonprofit, click here.