Glad We Got That Settled!

It’s official – Huntington Beach is Surf City USA. The long simmering feud between Santa Cruz and Huntington Beach has been settled and now we can turn our attention to other more important issues.

What bothers me is how this little tiff has been settled. There was no surf contest to settle the matter for once and all, no independent panel concluding that the surf conditions in HB is surpass those of our Northern California neighbor, no academic study concluding that HB’s contributions started earlier and contributed more to the sport than Santa Cruz. No, the matter has been settled by United States Patent and Trademark Office. And it’s not that they’ve declared that Huntington Beach is Surf City USA, but rather that the Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau has the right to use the term in “advertising and marketing; and promoting the economic development in the city of Huntington Beach” – and of course on goods and products, including

Clothing and sportswear, namely hats, t-shirts, shirts, jackets, sweaters, footwear, shorts, pants, and belts; tennis clothing, namely, shirts, skirts, shorts and pants … Handbags and sports bags

Yep, it is all about the money. Nothing to do with the joy of surfing and everything to do with exploiting the culture – or rather the image of the culture – that grew up around it.

Still, there’s no reason to be too cynical, I suppose. Santa Cruz’s business interests still have some hope left in the form of a resolution before the state Senate sponsored by Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) to name it Surf City USA.

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