This is a digitally modified photograph I took of the Surfer Monument that stands near Lighthouse Point on West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz, California. The monument is an 18 foot bronze statue commemorating all surfers and erected in May, 1992.
A nearby plaque notes:
“This monument is dedicated to all surfers – past, present, and future. The inspiration came from members of the Santa Cruz Surfing Club, founded in 1936. The fulfillment of this dream was the work of numerous citizens who recognize the significance of surfing within our community. Santa Cruz Museum Association – Surfing Sculpture Committee – 1992″
The statue was created by classical sculptor Thomas Marsh. Brian Curtis, Marsh’s former student, designed the base and Santa Cruz surfboard shapers David Stewart and Bill Grace designed the 1930’s longboard that stands behind the surfer. The monument was commissioned to celebrate the passing of one of the original members of the Santa Cruz Surfing Club, Bill Lidderdale, Jr.
Near the base of the monument is a bronze memorial dedicating Santa Cruz as a World Surfing Reserve. Imparted in 2012 by the Save the Waves Coalition, this honor distinguishes a 7-mile stretch of surfer- and wildlife-friendly coastline running from Pleasure Point to Natural Bridges State Park. This designation, used to “proactively identify, designate and preserves outstanding waves, surf zones and surrounding environments around the world,” made Santa Cruz the fourth World Surfing Reserve, part of an elite assembly that includes Malibu Beach, Manly Beach in Australia, and Ericeira in Portugal.
If you stroll along West Cliff Drive you can also view the Dead Surfers Memoria where unofficial wooden signs note the passing of other surfers. One of these signs states the four commandments of surfing:
- The first surfer on the wave has right of way
- Paddle around the wave and not through it
- Hang onto your board
- Help other surfers