Surfing As the ‘Official’ Sport of California?

by on February 7, 2018 · 1 comment

in Ocean Beach

Photo by ACE, May 2017

Two self-professed “avid surfers” recently co-sponsored a bill to name surfing the official sport of California. Bill, AB 1782, co-authored by Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) and Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon (D-Whittier), would do just that.

Surfing as the Official Sport of California. Cowabunga!

“Nothing represents the California Dream better than surfing — riding the waves and living in harmony with the beautiful beaches and ocean of our Golden State,” said co-sponsor Al Muratsuchi in a press release.

This is the like the siren of the waves, music to the ears of surfers from Ocean Beach and beyond.

In places like OB – where the Southern California surf culture developed and grew up – surfing has always been the main sport, the official sport of the community. Surfing and its attendant sub-culture exploded on the SoCal scene in the early Sixties, and in places like OB it was nurtured and nourished by a complex set of socio-economic-cultural factors.

Of course, it wan’t also so popular. Here’s some observations from the Ocean County Register:

It wasn’t long ago that surfing was frowned upon by mainstream society — a sport, if you dare call it that, seemingly for slackers. Surely, this salty pastime would be just a fad, parents hoped, as they got calls from school informing them their child had, again, ditched class to chase swell.

Fast forward a few decades, and you never know if that flip-flop wearing surfer next to you is the head honcho of a million-dollar company. Your doctor or dentist surfs. Parents home school their kids in hopes that they are the next Kelly Slater.

Even your grandma surfs.

California is home to several surfing museums and the Surfers’ Hall of Fame, that it represents a lifestyle that beckons people internationally who help pump billions into the state’s economy.  OCRegister

Here’s what bill sponsor Muratsuchi had to say about his effort:

“Nothing represents the California Dream better than surfing — riding the waves and living in harmony with the beautiful beaches and ocean of our Golden State.

Surfing in California has a rich history and culture. The surfing lifestyle attracts people from all around the world and generates over $6 billion in annual retail sales. Surfing is an iconic California sport and an important part of the multibillion dollar California coastal economy, particularly in the tourism and recreation industries.

For these reasons, I am proud to introduce a bill that would make surfing California’s official sport.”


Co-sponsor and House Majority Leader Ian Calderon said:

“Growing up surfing not only had a significant impact on who I am as a person, but also taught me at a young age to appreciate and cherish our beautiful coastline that we are so fortunate to have here in California.”

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ross Aimer February 10, 2018 at 1:08 am

Cowabunga to all you dudes and dudesses!


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