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Puny waves on tap for first International Surfing Day

International Surfing Day

Wednesday may be the first International Surfing Day -- as declared by the California Assembly earlier this week -- but the waves aren't cooperating.

Surf of no more than 3 feet is being reported in Orange, Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

Assemblyman and lifelong surfer Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara) introduced the symbolic measure on 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 the Surfrider Foundation.

The declaration prompted the the chief executive of the advocacy group to urge people to take the day off to go surfing.

"You have my permission to skip work," 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 was sending electronic copies of the letter to anyone who requests them. (Whether your boss excuses you from work is a whole other question.)

The resolution makes the case for the annual observance 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 observance 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.

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-- Dan Weikel and Tony Barboza

Photo: On Surfrider Foundation's International Surfing Day, Collin Schmidt, 11, of Columbus, Ohio, rides one of his first waves as Banzai Surf School instructor Bryan Karijanian helps steady his board at Huntington State Beach. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

 
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