Huntington Beach Surf City California Information and Travel Guide

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Surf City USA Quest

Santa Cruz Democratic state Sen. Joe Simitian is defending his district’s turf, introducing a resolution to the Legislature that grants the Surf City USA moniker to Santa Cruz.

"It puts the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on notice that there are competing claims to Surf City USA," Simitian said Friday. "I think Surf City is as much a state of mind as it is a place. I don’t think you can trademark a state of mind."

Simitian’s resolution is meant to counter a promotional tactic made by Huntington Beach tourism officials in November, when they filed a federal trademark application for the Surf City name.

Santa Cruz Mayor Mike Rotkin says he’s simply protecting local businesses, such as Surf City Produce and Surf City Coffee, from the possibility of being sued.

Simitian said he went to great lengths to point out why the designation fits Santa Cruz.

Among the nine reasons listed in the resolution: Santa Cruz is the site of the first surfing in California, when Hawaiian princes used redwood planks to surf at the mouth of San Lorenzo River in 1885.

Also, he pointed out that local surfing legend Jack O’Neill invented the wet suit in Santa Cruz.

Though it wouldn’t carry any legal weight, the resolution would make it official that Santa Cruz is considered Surf City USA by state politicians, and that might hinder Huntington Beach’s trademark bid.

Simitian’s resolution is sitting in the five-member Senate Rules Committee, which must approve the resolution before it goes to a full vote. The committee is expected to hear the issue next week.

State Sen. Joe Simitian’s resolution to name Santa Cruz the true ‘Surf City’ includes nine reasons the name fits:

Hawaiian princes used redwood planks to surf the mouth of San Lorenzo River in 1885, making Santa Cruz the first spot in the state where surfing occurred.

11 world-class breaks between Steamer Lane and Pleasure Point.

Home to the Lighthouse Surfing Museum at Steamer Lane.

Local resident Jack O’Neill invented the wet suit in Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz hosts several surf contests each year, including the O’Neill Coldwater Classic.

Home to Woodies on the Wharf, which draws classic surf cars from around the world.

Home to several businesses with ‘Surf City’ in the title.

Santa Cruz is known worldwide as a center of a precious, but hard to define surf culture that reflects a laid back and relaxed lifestyle.

Site of the ‘California Surfer’ sculpture on West Cliff Drive overlooking Steamer Lane.