What Should California’s Official State Sport Be?

Are you on Team Surfing or Team Skateboarding?

Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi of Torrance recently introduced a bill to make surfing California’s official state sport. Not an unreasonable move considering surf’s huge impact on Californian culture, from the Beach Boys, to Endless Summer, to Miki Dora and Laird Hamilton, to name a few.

But some question surf as the obvious choice … especially considering its island origins.

According to the LA Times, “It was Hawaiians who brought surfing to California. The first people on record to surf in North America, back in the 1880s, were Hawaiian princes: Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole, David Kawananakoa and Edward Keliiahonui. They fashioned boards out of redwoods and put on a demonstration in Santa Cruz. The pastime was further promoted in California in the early 20th century by two more Hawaiians, George Freeth and Duke Kahanamoku, who traveled around the state and proselytized about the pleasures of wave riding.”

“Skateboarding, by contrast, is native to California. The sport was born sometime in the late 1940s or early 1950s when bored surfers, smarting from flat or otherwise bad wave conditions, screwed roller skate wheels onto wood planks so that they could go ‘sidewalk surfing.’”

Jump on the board debate here.

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