The Apache Pow Wow

California’s State Sport

Nancy Zhang, Writer

When people think of California, they think of being on a beach on a gloriously sunny day. The Golden State is known for its very stereotypical, yet very reliable, sunny weather where suntanning on the warm sands of Malibu is a common pastime for its residents. In this sunny state, people also think of the popular sport — surfing.

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a bill proposing that surfing should be the state sport. This is very fitting because the state is abundant with hot, sandy beaches where hundreds of surfers can be found riding the tides. Like many other states, the existence of a state sport is meant to represent a significant aspect of the state’s culture. For instance, Minnesota’s state sport is hockey. This is a suitable state sport because Minnesota is home to the Hockey Hall of Fame and many other youth hockey leagues. Another example of this is dog mushing — Alaska’s state sport. This sport relates to the centuries of Northern culture where dogs help pull sleds through heavy snow. California is no different. Its state sport represents the weather and culture as an important component of the image of California.

On Aug. 20, Al Muratsuchi, a senator representing the 66th Assembly District of California, passed the bill. According to the Muratsuchi, there “was some healthy floor debate from some of the skateboarder, baseball fans, basketball fans, [and] others.” The California State Senate eventually decided on surfing, because “surfing really stands apart not only for being an iconic part of California culture but also for the environmental message of respecting and protecting our ocean and our environment.” The bill was fortunately passed fairly swiftly, with no messy arguments or disagreements. However, a preceding event saw senators debating over which district was best suited for the sport. Senator Bill Monning of Santa Cruz lightly joked that “Santa Cruz [is] sometimes referred to as the surfing capital of the world.” Senator Jerry Hill disagreed and said, “You may have the best beach, the best surfing spot, but the best competition of all is the Mavericks, in Half Moon Bay.” Senator Andy Vidak contributed to the bickering between the two by stating, “You don’t need a beach to catch a great wave.”

Surfing is also the state sport of Hawaii, which has a similar climate to California. Surfing is obviously a very popular sport, considering it claims the title as a state sport in two states. It is an ancient Polynesian pastime of spirituality that has evolved into a sport adored by many people. It has been stated that surfing feels like walking on water and combines flying, skating, swimming, and walking on water all into one sport. Furthermore, the act of balancing on a board while gliding through rising waves is unquestionably impressive. It simply looks cool and is here to stay. So to the brave and cool surfers everywhere in California: surf’s up!

Photo courtesy of TRAVELTIPSOR.COM

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California’s State Sport