Surfing is more than just a casual pastime in California. Surf culture is so prevalent that lawmakers may actually make it the official state sport. With some of the best waves in the country, tons of classic surf shops dotting the coast, and even a town nicknamed Surf City USA, surfing culture is ubiquitous in the Golden State.
International Surfing Day on June 16 gives extra incentive to celebrate the sport, and California is the perfect place to do it. The unofficial holiday was started in 2005 by the Surfrider Foundation, an organization focused on protecting the ocean. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Protect & Enjoy,” and local California chapters are providing ocean lovers ways to do just that.
Events are abundant all over the surfing hub of Orange County. At the ISD event in Huntington Beach, sand artists will start creating masterpieces at 6:30 a.m., followed by a beach cleanup, yoga, surf lessons, and stand-up paddleboard demonstrations throughout the day. Also in Huntington Beach: As a continuation of last year’s Guinness World Record “Circle of Honor,” when 511 surfers formed a record-breaking ocean circle, the International Surfing Museum will host an event on June 20 for participating surfers.
In nearby Dana Point, Surfrider South OC teamed up with the Ocean Institute to host a free showing of The Smog of the Sea at Hobie Surf Shop. Newport Beach is also hosting a Surfrider event, starting at 8 a.m., to surf and do a beach cleanup. Further north in Malibu, the Surfrider LA chapter is celebrating by teaching kids from L.A.’s under-served communities how to surf, starting at 9 a.m. at Zuma Beach.
In the Bay Area, similar surf-plus-beach-cleanup events will take place at Ocean Beach with the Surfrider San Francisco chapter and at Surfer's Beach with the San Mateo County—aka San Francisco Peninsula—chapter. Check the Surfrider event locator for a full list of happenings. And even if you're not in California for this event, you can create your own surfing day with a visit to these surfing hot spots.