The History of DELMARVA’s Caravan Surf Club

With the price of gas high, the cost of a motel stay expensive, and with the physical difficulty of individually making a long day trip to Ocean City for surfing, many locals are only able to surf a few times during the summer months. This situation drastically reduces the pleasure of being able to surf. The Current Caravan Surf Club grew out of an effort by Bruce Gabrielson to make it easier and much less expensive for local Baltimore, DC, and Northern Virginia surfers get to the beach for surfing sessions on a regular basis. He had been taking to various local surfers on his day trips for several years about sharing costs so they could go more often. In the summer of 2010, after a number of friends rode down with him, he decided it was time to offer a less structured low or no-cost alternative to get surfers to the beach. The idea of our rideshare surf club was formed.

There is a history for the name Caravan. Don Geise opened a surf shop in College Park, Maryland in the 1960s called, "Caravan Surf Shop." He used to lead local and distant surf trips to NC and FL and was the original Caravan. He eventually moved his shop to Beltsville, and instead of purely a surf shop, he began selling bicycles and hockey equipment. He also became a competitive bike racer for many years and his business evolved to entirely hockey towards the end. The shop suddenly closed and no one knows what ever happened to him. There was also a Caravan Surf Shop for a short time in the 70's in South Bethany managed by Rich Parolisky and Dave Dalkiewicz.

About our club, by 2012, we had grown to over 30 members, some actually living at the beach, with several diehards surfing all winter long. The club also started to participate in local activities including Surfrider events, environmental activities, and surf band concerts, We don't have a newsletter. However, the club communicates weekly by email about various things including local wave projections. Bruce also sends out updates whenever something is in the works.

Joining in is easy. Ask Bruce to add your name to the email list and then just show up to become a member.