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California Surfing Day Celebrates the Official State Sport

Sept. 20 is California Surfing Day, recognizing the history and economic impacts of surfing

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Sept. 17, 2019) – Surfing has long been a celebrated symbol of California’s lifestyle and culture. In 2018, the California Legislature officially recognized surfing as the state sport and Sept. 20 as California Surfing Day to recognize the history and economic impacts of surfing to the state.

“California’s 840 miles of coastline lures travelers from around the world to visit each year,” said Caroline Beteta, Visit California president and CEO. “From the laid-back vibes, to fashion, to music – in California, surfing is more than a pastime, it’s an iconic lifestyle that’s truly part of our DNA.”

Surfing is so ingrained in California culture it’s even possible to surf in the Central Valley. This weekend, the World Surf League will host its Freshwater Pro event at the Kelly Slater Surf Ranch in Lemoore, Calif. – 100 miles from the ocean.

Surfing is a $5 billion industry, making it an important economic driver for the state. An estimated 3.3 million American surfers spend between approximately $3 billion each year on surf trips.

Visit California has an abundance of new surfing content to inspire travelers, including an interactive surfing road trip itinerary and a new episode of the California Now podcast featuring an interview with Izzy Tihanyi, a former pro surfer and co-owner of the La Jolla school Surf Diva.

Also launching this week is a new episode of the web series, Jonny Moseley’s Wildest Dreams, “FOIL!” following Jonny and surf legend Rob Machado as they get a lesson in foilboarding from the new sport’s pioneer, Kai Lenny.

For more information and inspiration to hit the waves, check out, or explore and share using #CaliforniaSurfingDay on social media.

Visit California is a nonprofit organization with a mission to develop and maintain marketing programs – in partnership with the state’s travel industry – that keep California top-of-mind as a premier travel destination. In 2018, spending by travelers totaled $140.6 billion throughout the state, generating 1.2 million jobs and $11.8 billion in state and local tax revenues. For more information about Visit California and for a free California Official State Visitor's Guide, go to For story ideas, media information, downloadable images, video and more, go to