To no one’s surprise—least of among Malibu residents—California’s official sport is now officially surfing. The decision was made through AB 1782, the first point of which states, “Surfing is an iconic California sport.” Governor Brown gave the official sign-off just last week on Aug. 20.
The bill was introduced by Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, who represents the 66th assembly district. Early on, the bill acknowledges that surfing originates from the Polynesian people in Hawaii. (Hawaii named surfing its official state individual sport back in 1998.)
AB 1782 specifically mentions Malibu for the state’s “world-famous surf breaks” as part of a list that includes Trestles, Mavericks, Rincon, Steamer Lane and Huntington. It goes on to note the importance of the coastline as home to indigenous people such as the Chumash. Currently, Wishtoyo’s Chumash Village serves as a recreation of the original Chumash people’s villages.
For his reasoning to the Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization, Muratsuchi stated surfing “generates over $6 billion in United States annual retail sales.” According to information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration through the U.S. Department of Commerce, millions of visitors come to the state for ocean-related activities, including surfing, offshore fishing and kayaking.
Back in January, Malibu Historic District—which includes Malibu Pier, Surfrider Beach, Malibu Lagoon State Beach and surf breaks at First, Second and Third Points—was the first surf spot to join the National Register of Historic Places.