Trading Treasures at the Malibu Surf Swap

Visitors check out long boards at the Malibu Surf Swap on Saturday.

Vendors, traders and beach enthusiasts took over the parking lot of City Hall last weekend, displaying tables and booths overflowing with boogie boards, wet suits, beach accessories, surf equipment and more. They were gathered for the first city-sponsored Community Surf Swap, which took place in Malibu on Saturday, Aug. 3, to benefit the Malibu Sharks Surf Team. The event was put on by members of the Harry Barovsky Memorial Youth Commission.

Locals were invited to reserve a booth and display anything beach related. This gave them the opportunity to buy, sell, trade and donate any surfing equipment.

Malibu Sharks Surf Team head coach John Cross said all the proceeds from the event are going toward the young athletes competing with the Malibu Sharks Surf team. Cross described the planning process, spearheaded by longtime local Ted Silverberg.

“Ted [Silverberg] organized it in conjunction to the surf team and we made $600 on proceeds alone,” Cross said. “We did a three-day chili cook off booth last year and we barely broke even—so this is spectacular already.”

Cross said the morning was steady, but they were able to fill up most of the spaces for vendors. He said there was a great amount of support from the community and the organizers.

“Unbelievable, the support for the teams is totally welcomed and we’re very thankful for the cooperation and partnership with Ted,” Cross said.

Cross and the team are hoping to organize this event more often.

“I’m seeing a lot my team families here but I’m also seeing a fair amount of outside Malibu here, so the crowd is a good mix,” said Cross. “People are coming in from other areas to sell and check stuff out, as well.”

Organizer Ted Silverberg said this event helps not only the Malibu Sharks Surf Team but it is an opportunity to bring the community together and help families throughout the city. 

“The great thing is that many people have kids in Malibu and so many people outgrow their stuff and many people lost their homes because of the fires and it’s our opportunity to give back,” he said.

Silverberg said social media, ads and newspaper publications have kept the community informed—and helped to draw a large number of participants.

“I think Malibu’s great because of the community and all the people covering what we’re doing,” Silverberg said. “It’s been packed all day; it’s a huge success.” 

Silverberg said the city was kind enough to waive all of the fees associated with holding the event, so all the money from the booths can go directly to the Malibu Sharks.

“People have also come up to me and said, ‘Can I make a donation to the Shark Team?’ so, it’s been a really good opportunity to bring awareness,” Silverberg said. The city has also been mindful when it comes to equipment that is no longer usable.

“Today, the City of Malibu has decided they wanted to take everything to the next step, and so what they wanted to be able to do is recycle, repurpose and reuse anything that’s possible,” Silverberg said.

Vendor Ted Mu?oz brought some of his artwork and t-shirts to display at the Surf Swap. He has also been selling some of his work at pop-up events in Malibu. 

“Everybody here has been really cool; it’s a lot like a family event,” Mu?oz said. “The art brings in a good aspect—it lightens everybody up.”

Santa Barbara surfboard artist and photographer Bobbi Bennett has been an exhibiting artist for 25 years and heard about the event through social media. She displayed surfboard pieces showing her photography and craftsmanship. 

“With every show, we always give back to an organization and when I saw this … I’ve been wanting to do a show in Malibu for a really long time and I knew it was benefiting the Sharks (Team) so I was super stoked,” Bennett said.

Bennett said her pieces can be used to ride, but they are more specifically for interior design.

“People are redoing their homes after the fires and they want new art and they want something different and it’s fun,” Bennett said.

Bennett wasn’t just hoping to sell pieces but she was also eager to meet new people.

“If I sell some pieces that’s great, but I’m more interested in giving my presence,” Bennett said. “I’ve already met some very cool people.”

As the temperature rose going into the afternoon on a hot summer Saturday, locals were able to connect with others and leave with someone else’s treasures—before heading back to the ocean.