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California declares surfing official state sport

September 7, 2018

California Gov. Jerry Brown announced on Monday he’s signed legislation making surfing the state’s official sport, the Associated Press reported.

The law acknowledges that surfing was imported to California from Hawaii. Indeed, Hawaii previously claimed surfing as its official individual sport - and outrigger canoe paddling as its official team sport.

But, California lawmakers say their state has made important contributions to surfing, claiming that surfboard building is centered there and surf forecasting and the neoprene wet suit were invented there.

California plays host to the Surfers’ Hall of Fame, two surfing museums, the International Surf Festival, the U.S. Open of Surfing and other competitions in the sport.

Surfing generates an estimated $6 billion plus in annual sales in the state, according to California Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi of Torrance.

“No other sport represents the California Dream better than surfing,” he said in a statement.

Pennsylvania is among many states that have not designated an official sport.

Skiing and snowboarding are officially recognized sports in Utah, Vermont and Colorado. New Hampshire focuses on skiing alone.

Colorado also has designated pack burro racing as a summer heritage sport, according to netstate.com.

Dog mushing leads Alaska’s sports scene, while rodeos hold sway in Florida, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.

Kentucky has a state tug-of-war championship. Maryland recognizes both lacrosse and jousting.

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