Earlier this month Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) who represents the South Bay up in Sacramento, along with Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon (D-Whittier) co-authored a bill that could establish surfing as California’s state sport. Of course, surfing is already the official sport of Hawaii and has deep roots here toward the south end of Santa Monica Bay, from El Segundo to Palos Verdes. Since at least 2003, the city of Hermosa Beach annually honors its wave-riding history by inducting legends of the sport into their Surfer’s Walk of Fame. Past inductees include Greg Noll, George Freeth and Hap Jacobs. Today, there’s even a volunteer run surf club, South Bay Boardriders Club, that host community events and surf contests for all ages & skill levels.
The bill itself, AB-1782, notes surfing as an iconic sport of California, then puts a geographic focus on its fiduciary effects: “California’s coastline spans 1,100 miles and its beaches and coastal areas generate $1.15 trillion in economic activity annually.” The dream of surfing is an endemic form of lifestyle marketing for a myriad of companies, beverages, cars, laundry detergents, etc.
So, in an effort to strengthen the brand, maybe less Gold Rush and more A-frame peaks, California proposes that nothing may be more valuable than image, “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,” said Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi.