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Only in California: International Surfing Day is now official

June 18, 2012 |  6:08 pm

You might want to check to see if the surf’s up Wednesday.

The California Assembly on Monday approved a resolution declaring June 20 International Surfing Day, and the head of the sport's international advocacy group is urging people to take the day off to hit the waves. 

"You have my permission to skip work," Surfrider Foundation Chief Executive Jim Moriarty announced on Twitter. "I'll even write your sick note." 

Moriarty drafted an official-looking form letter that gives you "permission to call in sick on June 20th and go surfing," suggesting to your boss that you "spend the entire day on the beach." A spokeswoman said the nonprofit is sending electronic copies of the letter to anyone who requests them. (Whether your boss excuses you from work is a whole other question.)

Assemblyman and lifelong surfer Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara) introduced the symbolic measure Monday as "a way to celebrate California’s surfing heritage and raise awareness about the need to protect our oceans, waves and beaches," according to a statement from Surfrider.

The resolution makes the case for the annual holiday by citing the state's $43-billion ocean economy, the California-based surf industry, its surf contests and world-renowned surf breaks such as Trestles, Mavericks and Rincon.

The San Clemente-based Surfrider Foundation started the holiday in California in 2005, and it has grown to include nearly 200 events in 30 countries. The day typically includes surf sessions, paddle-outs and beach cleanups.

-- Tony Barboza

Photo: Kevin Nestor, left, Dominick Bei and Chris Berry get ready for a session at Surfers Point in Ventura in 2010. Al Seib/Los Angeles Times.