Surfing, the ancient sport of riding a surfboard in a forward face of an ocean wave, originated in the Pacific Islands. Surfing was first introduced to the United States from Hawaii during the 19th century by California hotel owners. They promoted the sport by sponsoring demonstrations to attract tourists. As surfing became more popular, the state’s 1,100-mile coastline became one of the most frequented regions in the world for surfing.
A California Institute of Technology student developed light-weight surfboards to replace older, heavier wooden ones. The neoprene wetsuit, another California invention, helped to spread surfing to the colder waters of the northern coast. The rules for international competition were first established at the World Surfing Championships in 1966 at San Diego. The sport’s cult-like popularity inspired films, surf music and skateboarding.
(Assembly Bill 1782, Chapter 162, 2018)