There are a handful of mixed emotions with this news being: random, confused, appreciated, but also even more confused?!
Governor Jerry Brown made the pending news official by signing a bill stating so.
“The new law declares surfing to be “an iconic California sport” — though it acknowledges that surfing originated with the Polynesian people and was imported into California from Hawaii.” – nypost.com
If you were a surfer living in California before this law was passed and the “craze of surfing hit the west coast in a legal way”, you would know that you can’t watch world tour surf events televised. You can only view the world’s best surfers travel from country to country and surf the best waves in the world if you were to tune into your WSL app and stream the event.
With this law passed – does this mean things will change? Surfers will now be able to tune in to an official channel and watch the world tour just like every American nestling into their lazy boy chair for football season. To me, this law just seems random and out of place. Where was this representation of ‘surfing’ before?
Another interesting point is as the popularity of surfing grows, so do the number of people in the line-up. If you know the history of surfing, you know the sport is incredibly sacred. There are rules to the line-up, there must be respect for the ocean and others in the water, and there is an overall underlying sub-culture within the sport. To this day, there are still spots you keep secret from those that are new to surfing for preservation of the sport. Will surfing become so mainstream that paddling out will be an absolute nightmare? Will a number of new surfers outweigh the amount of experienced surfers out in the line-up? There are so many unanswered questions.
But there is one thing I know, we have to educate. If we get outnumbered by bandwagon surfers, we need to make sure to inform others the rules to the line-up, help them understand the respect they must have for the ocean and others in the water, and understand that this is an incredibly personal and sacred sport. We must preserve surfing.
Avid surfer and Democratic state Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi of Torrance comments on the matter – “I am stoked that surfing is now California’s official sport. No other sport represents the California Dream better than surfing — riding the waves of opportunity and living in harmony with nature.”
What are your personal thoughts on this new law?