Lawmakers debate making surfing official state sport of California

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Surfing has been part of California's culture for more than 100 years.

Each year Southern California holds the U.S. Open of Surfing, Northern California holds the Mavericks Big Wave Surf Contest, and now Kelly Slater's Surf Ranch has put California's Central Valley on the surfing map.

So it seems fitting that lawmakers are now considering making surfing, the official state sport of California.

The proposal inspired a gnarly debate on the floor of the California State Assembly.

Member Devon Mathis (R-Visalia) was one of the few to vote against the bill said, "It's always a great time to go hang 10. I've got to stand in opposition as a proud inland skateboarder. The true heritage of our state is skateboarding."

But, Assembly Member Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), the bill's co-author, had a history lesson for Mathis, "Skateboarding was inspired by surfing. Skateboarding is land surfing."

In the end, Assembly Bill 1782 passed easily by a 62-to-4 vote.

LINK: Read the full text of Assembly Bill 1782

The legislation is now being heard by a committee in the State Senate.
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