George Floyd Paddle Out, 2020

Essay 448 • Jun 15th 2020

The Black Surfing Association (East Coast), which is based in Rockaway Beach, NY, held a Paddle Out Memorial and Solidarity in Surfing for George Floyd and Black Lives Matter. A paddle out is memorial, where surfers, paddle boarders, and kayakers “paddle out” into the ocean and form a circle while holding hands after someone dies.

The Paddle Out for George Floyd was one of the most incredible and moving events I’ve ever experienced. Being a photographer, surfer and living in Rockaway, I had to make a choice to either paddle out in solidarity or stay on land and document this important time in history for Rockaway Beach and human rights. I wanted to paddle out with everyone to show my support and protest, but it felt more right as a photographer to document it from land and try to share this moment and photos with the people who organized this event and the world. This series of images shows both the celebration of Black Lives and surfing, and the heaviness of the work that must continue to oppose oppression.


Carlos Jarmillo (b.1988, McAllen, TX) is a fine art and commercial photographer based in New York City. He lives in Rockaway Beach. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and VICE. Jaramillo is a graduate of School of Visual Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography. He surfs, travels, and chills with his wife and two cats in his free time.
Website | Instagram

If you would like to donate or support this movement, below is a list of few memorial funds and organizations that are doing important work.

George Floyd Memorial Fund

Justice for Breonna Taylor

I Run With Maud

Black Lives Matter

Reclaim the Block

NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund