By Natalie Holtz
On June 20, surfers and surf enthusiasts worldwide will unite to participate in the 10th annual International Surfing Day, and what better place to celebrate than in the birthplace of Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High - San Diego.
Held each year on or near the summer solstice, the event, initiated by the Surfrider Foundation and Surfing Magazine in 2004, celebrates the sport of surfing while helping to raise awareness about the issues facing the world's coastal environments. Observers participate in paddle-outs, beach cleanups, surf movie screenings and coastal restorations in every country that has surfing, and some that only have river surfing, which is - whoa, brah - surfing on a river.
Even if the only surfing you've done has been on a bodyboard in a water-park wave pool, don't feel left out. Another aim of International Surfing Day is to encourage first-timers to give surfing a try.
"The goal is to get people stoked on surfing, but also get them excited about protecting the environment in which we surf," says Haley Haggerstone, Surfrider Foundation's San Diego County chapter event coordinator.
The Surfrider Foundation - a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to the protection of oceans, waves and beaches - will host a free, family-friendly event at Veterans Plaza in Ocean Beach, June 20, from 4 to 10 p.m. with free lessons, free board demos and a free screening of The Endless Summer (movie starts at 8 p.m.).