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The California Surf Museum – serving as an international repository and resource centre for surfing

The California Surf Museum – serving as an international repository and resource centre for surfing

“You need only three things: your body, a surfboard, and a wave” – Nama Green

The California Surf Museum was founded in 1986 and has been in operation for three decades, serving tens of thousands of annual visitors from over 40 nations around the globe. With a permanent collection that chronicles the history of surfboards and wave-riding, the museum also offers many revolving exhibits each year. In its current museum-quality space, it has acquired a rare set of archives and collections gathered over more than 30 years, comprising one of the world’s richest troves of surfing history.

The museum has grown into a major attraction for Oceanside, San Diego County and Southern California. The California Surf Museum’s history is defined by the multitudes of passionate volunteers who have given thousands of hours before its founding in 1986 to make CSM what it is today. Many businesses have also supported CSM through its growth and transformation. The City of Oceanside has welcomed CSM by providing affordable space since 1996.

Enthusiasts have donated many valuable treasures and artefacts to CSM — including significant surfboards, trophies, magazines, rare photographs and more — to share and preserve them. Through 2018, nearly 650,000 visitors have entered CSM’s doors to see and read about the surf lifestyle and history.

“CSM’s top priority is sharing with you, the public — it is your interest, enthusiasm and support that keeps CSM going!”

The California surf museum serves as an international repository and resource centre on the lifestyle sport of surfing, through capturing preserving and chronicling its art culture and heritage for the education and enjoyment of future generations.

The museum program offers students and adults tours and interactive exhibits in OSHA science and weather-related information. The museum’s permanent collection is the history of surfing told through the timeline of surfboards, the archive holds the world’s most significant artefacts and historical imagines from the surfing culture, these include surf photographer dock balls, the first camera and water housing, Bethany Hamilton shark attack board, search pioneer Tom Blake’s 1928 trophy and Oscar-winning artist John Lambs mural.

Tens of thousands of visitors from more than 44 nations from all 50 states come to visit the museum annually. The California Museum is celebrating its 34th year of successful operation with the second largest attraction in Oceanside in the top 10 of San Diego’s North County. They are open seven days a week from 10 to 4, 350 days a year and they’ve been doing that for almost 34 years that means they offer a convenient and compelling destination for all San Diego visitors.

The California Surf Museum is a 501c3 non-profit with almost no administrative costs every dollar provided by the grants, they receive goes into exhibits, education and staff.

They fund the programs through events such as film screenings, book signings and lectures along with generous donations. The surf museum has devoted 35 years to collecting rare and significant artefacts from historically significant films to turn the century surf wear into a complete collection of surf publications and ephemera. Donations, events, grants and corporate sponsorship help with both dollars and volunteers. The California surf museum produces dozens of outstanding exhibits reaching both tourists surfers and the general public.

The story of The Women on waves was the most comprehensive and acclaimed exhibition of females in any sport to date it told the story of women’s 200 years to struggle for recognition as well as displaying the history of women’s beach attire. Another one on the exhibit of China beach surfing during the Vietnam War and the healing power of wave rowdy told the little-known but fascinating story of surfing’s effect on many of those who served during the Vietnam conflict it was a partnership with the Department of Défense who provided commemorative and pins, which they gave to hundreds of Vietnam veterans.

As with much of the museum’s work, volunteers are critical to making the operation a success. Internationally acclaimed by the television and print media The California Surf Museum has been featured in American Airlines American Way, The History Channel’s America pickers, ABC News, Fox, The Los Angeles Times and many many other magazines TV spots around the globe including Italy, Japan, England, France and India.

 Another popular exhibit was the pipeline masters which celebrated both the servers and the wave with educational information on how and why the wave breaks as it does. Panels of the most legendary and revered surfers are a common event of the California Surf Museum. The current exhibit of adaptive surfing is another example of the commitment to the widening appeal of the exhibits in connecting surfing to the world around them in a positive way. The California Surf Museum provides a massive contribution to the tourist train, the art community of San Diego, the value of the culture and the vitality of the region.

Board of Director

Jim Kempton – President

A former Editor and Publisher of Surfer Magazine, Billabong USA’s Director of Media, and Marketing Director for Transworld Publishing, Jim Kempton wrote Surfing the Manual, a book on the history of surfing told through the performance techniques of the world’s best surfers. A world traveller who has surfed in over 20 countries, he wrote and edited a book on the history of surfing at San Onofre.

Eric Munoz – Vice President

A native of coastal Southern California, Eric has a degree in Physical Geography (SDSU) and was trained in Baja California for surf travels around the world. With a passion for ocean health, surfing, and coastal communities worldwide, Eric is honoured to be on the leadership team for the California Surf Museum and to advance the goals of the Mission.

John Redlinger – Secretary

Louise Balma – Gala Fundraising Committee Chairman

Louise Ravera Balma is an artist and architect who designed and supervised the build-out of CSM’s building. She spent 25 years in marketing/promotions and events, notably for TransWorld Media working in the action sports industry of surfing, skateboarding, and snowboarding.

Shea Roney – Events and Promotions

A retired professional longboard surfer Shea serves as President for the Swami’s Surfing Association. Along with three Rob Machado Festival wins under his belt, he is a three-time CSF champion, a two-time NSSA College Nationals finalist and the 2019 United States Senior Men’s Longboard Champion.

John Bishop – Public Outreach

Since its inception, John Bishop has been affiliated with the CSM and has served on the Board of Directors for a year. An Ocean Beach native, he grew up roaming Sunset Cliffs and fishing and diving in Mission Bay. John began surfing and working on fishing boats in the late 1950s has been an avid waterman ever since.

Bill Schildge – Exhibits and Art/Photography

Born in Santa Monica California, Schildge spent his summers on Catalina Island in the late 50’s early ’60s, diving for coins at Avalon. He learned to surf at Santa Monica, becoming a competitive swimmer in high school and Jr. College. An accomplished professional photographer, he is also a competitive bodysurfer competing in the World Bodysurfing Championships and helped organize the sport of Bodysurfing in France every year in September for 10 years from 1988-1998.

Mike Burner – Operations Advisor

Mike Burner was instrumental in the building construction and development of CSM’s current location, acting as liaison with the City of Oceanside. Growing up in Pacific Beach in the 1950s, Mike started surfing in 1957 on a 9′ 10″ balsa board. In 1963 he won the West Coast Surf Championship paddleboard relay race and that same year competed in the World Surf Championship at Makaha, Hawaii.

Jeff Duclos

Jeff Duclos grew up in San Diego and began his surfing journey in 1962. Beginning in the 1980s, his stories have appeared in Surfer and Longboard and other publications. Beginning in the 1990s, Jeff served as the chair of the Malibu Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and as a member of the Surfrider Foundation’s Board of Directors, working to secure coastal access and reduce ocean pollution. For his many years of service in protecting the coastal environment, he received the Surfrider Foundation’s 2006 Board of Directors Award.

Severino Ricci

Severino was born and raised in the south of Italy then he moved to Milan, where he currently lives. Severino’s primary interests and passions are travel, the cultural nuances of the U.S., the English language, social media, fitness, and sports. Severino’s love for travelling, sports and California have enabled him to cooperate as a tourism ambassador with Visit Oceanside and as a Board Member for the California Surf Museum. He comes back to Southern California and to his beloved Oceanside on a regular. He has been elected the Board Member of the California Surf Museum (CSM), located in Oceanside, CA. The Board of Directors voted for him, thus reinforcing the CSM communication capacity. Severino Ricci creates a strong communication channel between CSM and Italy because he is an Italian-born professional who has also become the Oceanside Tourism Ambassador for Italy. The election of Severino Ricci by the CSM Board of Directors means a focus on the European market, not just Italy, and Severino possesses extraordinary management and communication skills to provide CSM with more publicity within the European market.

Severino Ricci addsI am so honoured to serve on the California Surf Museum Board of Directors. Surfing has always been a sport that fascinated me and the CSM is surely its temple. This is an exciting, evolving journey that makes my bond with California even stronger. The CSM is located in the city I am promoting as the Tourism Ambassador, my beloved Oceanside, so what more could I ask for?!”

Given his European origin, Severino makes the intellectual environment of the CSM I am so honoured to serve on the California Surf Museum Board of Board of Directors more extensive when it comes to the international expansion and attraction of more customers from beyond the U.S.”

“I intend to apply my extensive experience in Brand Management, Customer Service and Sales, to generate more visibility for CSM in Italy and beyond, turning CSM into a multinational phenomenon even more than it currently is. The European market is crucially important for the efficient CSM expansion since the European Union is the world’s largest single market with over $20 trillion of aggregate GDP and almost 450 million citizens,” says Severino Ricci.


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Gauri Sood

Life is short make every moment count . 🖤🥂🤍💋🖤♏🤍❄️🖤

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