Senate Bill 1459, which would establish a State Commission on Surfing, was approved by lawmakers Thursday at the Capitol.

It now awaits final votes on the House and Senate floors.

The bill, introduced by Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, is intended to promote surfing and educate people in Hawaii and abroad about surfing’s “unique connection” to Hawaii.

A surfer stands on the edge of the boardwalk at Queen’s Surf Beach in Waikiki, May 2017. Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

The bill states that some 704,000 people surf in Hawaii each year, the second-most out of any state in the country.

The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will be the first Olympics games to include surfing, “further bolstering global recognition of the sport.”

The commission would have nine members appointed by the governor.

Two members would be drawn from the Hawaiian community who have an understanding of the culture and history of surfing. The names will be selected by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and submitted to the governor.

The commission will be short-lived, however, disbanding in 2024.

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