Santa Cruz, California has long been recognized as the historical birthplace of mainland surfing in the United States, when in 1885, three Hawaiian princes who were attending military academy in what is now Silicon Valley came to Santa Cruz and surfed the beaches here on redwood boards crafted from a local lumber mill. The latest historical addition to the area where surfing began is a commemorative plaque honoring the Santa Cruz Surfing Club. Established in 1936, the club began when a group of 27 surfers joined together to hold regular meetings, elect officers, and share their knowledge of this fledgling sport. These pioneers of the waves are credited with helping to cultivate the sport at the local level. Designed locally and made of 12,000 pounds of concrete, the bronze relief shows the group’s clubhouse and includes the names of the original club members.  The plaque overlooks Cowell Beach, and is a tribute to those whose talent helped foster the sport of surfing in Santa Cruz.

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