Lawmakers Debate the Very Future of Surfing

As the state sport of California, that is

Having solved climate change legislation, written a comprehensive and fair tax policy, establishing a definitive answer to terrorist threats, addressed the rise of gas prices, and eliminated the scourge of school shootings, the California State Assembly yesterday took up the very important issue of whether or not surfing should be Calfornia’s official state sport, debating a bill sponsored by Al Muratsuchi, D-Torrance.

Assembly Bill 1782, passed easily on Monday by a 62-to-4 vote, after a vigorous debate on the Assembly floor. Watch the video above for the heated highlights.

Or, according to the Fresno ABC affiliate: “The proposal inspired a gnarly debate on the floor of the California State Assembly.”

“I’ve got to stand in opposition as a proud inland skateboarder,” said Assemblyman Devon Mathis, Republican from Visalia, a town about 15 minutes from Slater’s wave pool, who voted no. “The true heritage of our state is skateboarding.”

“Skateboarding was inspired by surfing,” responded Muratsuchi, in a thundering tirade. “Skateboarding is…on land surfing,” he adroitly finished.

The text of the bill cites the importance of surfing to California’s economy, and the role surfing has played in shaping American culture and bending attitudes toward ocean conservation. The bill is also clear that we did not invent surfing here in California, giving credit to Hawaii, where surfing is also the state sport, for that distinction.

The bill now goes to the CA State Senate for a final vote. After that, well, it’s unclear what happens when surfing is our state sport. It can never be made illegal, I guess?

Thank goodness this is almost settled.

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