International surfing day comes to Venice

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Surfrider Foundation hosts local part of a worldwide event.

By Ben Marcus / Special to The Malibu Times

On Thursday, the Malibu and South Bay chapters of the Surfrider Foundation will host a beach cleanup at Venice Beach. Surfers from County Line to Palos Verdes will join pro surfers Shaun Tomson, Mike Parsons and Dino Andino to represent Los Angeles County for International Surfing Day-a global effort to bring surfers together for the betterment of the ocean and the sport.

Evan Slater, editor of Surfing Magazine, said he and publisher Ross Garrett started International Surfing Day, or ISD, two years ago “as a celebration of the sport and an encouragement of all surfers to go down to the beach on the same day, ride a wave or two and help do their part by cleaning the beach.”

“Last year, guys from Surfrider [Foundation] met with Arnold Schwarzenegger on ISD in Sacramento, pleading to help put a stop to the toll road that is threatening the surf zone at Trestles,” Slater said. “This year, 75 Surfrider chapters are involved worldwide. There’s a big beach cleanup in Venice and it should be huge.”

Garrett said of the upcoming event: “This is the third year … people in places like Venezuela, El Salvador and as far away as Iceland have celebrated. The long-term vision for the event is for it to grow beyond anything we can control. And it has. We’re finding out everyday about events that are happening outside of the 80 ‘official’ cleanups. People are hosting parties, concerts, film premieres, launching campaigns and more on International Surfing Day.”

In addition to more than 50 ISD beach clean-up events taking place across the United States, the Surfrider Foundation will also be hosting events across the globe, including events in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, France, United Kingdom, Japan and elsewhere. Events vary by location, but include beach cleanups, surf clinics, paddle outs, chapter meetings held on the beach, organized games of horseshoe and beach volleyball, international food fests, live music performances, yoga sessions and beach barbecues.

“This is our day to celebrate the spirit and joy of surfing,” said Surfrider Foundation Executive Director Jim Moriarty. “International Surfing Day is also an opportunity for us to give back to the oceans, waves and beaches that bring so much into our lives.”

For International Surfing Day, the Surfrider Foundation is offering a special, one-day-only ISD membership package. Surfers and other beach enthusiasts can join or renew their membership for the discounted price of $21 (normally $25). The membership package includes an ISD T-shirt. More information on International Surfing Day, including event locations and details on ISD poster and video contests, can be obtained online at www.intlsurfingday.com. For the L.A. County Surfrider Foundation, 949.492.8170 or online, www.surfrider.org. The Malibu Chapter can be reached at 310.451.1010.