California has long been synonymous with surfing and on August 20th Governor Jerry Brown took that image to the next level by signing a bill into effect that legally makes surfing the official state sport of California.
Some of the wording in the bill (AB 1782, to be specific) is pretty entertaining. It mentions that while Hawaii was the birthplace of the sport we all love, no other state embodies surfing in the USA like California. It’s the heartbeat of the surfing culture and deserves to be recognized with a title like “official state sport.” California was the first state to adopt the concept of forecasting surf conditions, not to mention other industry-changing events like the invention of the wetsuit. The bill also highlighted some very important figures in terms of dollars in cents, stating that California’s beaches generate an estimated $1.15 trillion in state revenue. If that doesn’t warrant adopting surfing as the official state sport we don’t know what does!
The creator of bill AB 1782 is Al Muratsuchi. He’s a member of the state assembly and an avid surfer and he had this to say about the passing of the bill:
“No other sport represents the California Dream better than surfing — riding the waves of opportunity and living in harmony with nature.”
The bill carries more weight than simply giving surfers a reason to high five each other. It really is beneficial to the sport. Surfing faces many challenges from time to time. Everything from beach erosion to commercial development can threaten beaches that surfers love. Now, environmental and development issues will be affecting much more than a pastime for locals, they’ll be impacting the official sport of the state of California. Most surfers also play the part of ocean activist, and the new bill will give them a much louder voice on some very important issues.
Plus, as we’ve mentioned, surfing is a profitable sport in the state. With an estimated revenue generation of $6 billion every year, you can bet that issues concerning the official state sport won’t be taken lightly.