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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
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Museum Founder Natalie Kotsch with Rep. Rohrabacher, June 1999
Museum volunteer Ann Beasley with Rep. - Dana Rohrabacher, (CA - 45th District) Photo: Natalie Kotsch


"Commemorating the ageless quest for the perfect wave," the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum archives materials relating to surfing as both a sport and a lifestyle, including music, art, clothing, and film. With its eight miles of beaches and several major surfing competitions, including the OP Surf Tournament every August, Huntington Beach is a natural for a museum dedicated to surfing. Its local high school even boasts surfing as a varsity sport. The town, known as "Surf City" because of its consistent surf, has been immortalized in the song of the same name by resident Dean Torrance of "Jan & Dean" fame.

Resembling a surfer's dream attic, the museum is a suitably laid-back tribute to the sport's pioneers and the California beach culture that is a worldwide export. Founded by real estate agent Natalie Kotsch in 1989, this tiny 2,000-square-foot museum is the only one in the world officially accredited by the International Surfing Association. The collections include materials on the evolution of the surfboard and the spin-off sports of skateboarding, snowboarding, and windsurfing. The Museum currently has an exhibit of surfing music, and on Sunday afternoons from 1 to 3 has live surfing music in its outdoors "Black Bottom Room," aka "the parking lot." Included among the Museum's exhibits have been Women in Surfing - 1920-1980; Evolution of the Skateboard; Hole in the Wall Gang - Circa 1960; Endless Summer - Bruce Brown, Robert August; and History of Surf Lifesaving.

Project materials include a history of the International Surfing Museum, a photograph, a newspaper article, a flyer, a membership brochure, and copies of Shorebreak, the Museum's newsletter.

Originally submitted by: Dana Rohrabacher, Representative (45th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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