History lesson: old surfboard registration decals

Discussion in 'Surfing' started by Chilly Willy, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. Chilly Willy

    Chilly Willy Well-Known Member

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    I've been working on getting together paperwork to register a Sunfish sailboat (pretty silly to have to register it if you ask me) when I noticed that surfboards are exempt from the registration requirements. It made me think of those old surfboard registration decals you sometimes see on vintage longboards. Don't get me wrong - I am obviously glad that surfboard registration is a thing of the past, but I am surprised that any government would have given up their money grab.

    My question for any of the old timers: What happened with that? What were the circumstances that led to that no longer being a requirement?
     
  2. nedsurf

    nedsurf Well-Known Member

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    Registration requirements vary by state and applies to vessels defined by Coast Guard regulations , surf boards are not classed as vessels. A few quirks in the laws, SUPs outside of surf or swimming zone are vessels, have to carry PFDs , but are exempt from registration. No requirement if you are surfing. Don't think I answered your question, but I seldom do, just thought it might be interesting.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
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  3. SeniorGrom

    SeniorGrom Well-Known Member

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    I didn’t know these registrations existed during those years either. I did surf then but not in towns that required the registration decals. I have seen them on vintage surfboards from some New Jersey towns, Newport Beach CA, and in England.
     
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  4. SharkB8

    SharkB8 Active Member

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    Been toying with the idea of making new decals for the morning crew here. Same looking style
     
  5. SharkB8

    SharkB8 Active Member

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    E4CCFDD9-B30F-4BED-8276-C1C8E2A3BF9A.jpeg Probably end up on our cars instead of boards but who doesn’t love stickers
     
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  6. SharkB8

    SharkB8 Active Member

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    Sorry to keep posting ADD kicking in. Can you imagine having to pay for each permit for every board. Or if you sold/lost a board getting another.
     
  7. applekat

    applekat Well-Known Member

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    (I'd buy one.)
     
  8. Veterano

    Veterano Well-Known Member

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    At one point in time, 1963(+-?) Newport Beach passed what I remember as the first and last surfboard license in Southern California. My home town, Manhattan Beach (north of Newport Beach), kicked the idea around at a City Council level but it never went anywhere.
    It goes w/o saying that every surfer in So Cal was outraged by this. Guys at Newport had to bend over for it. I'd see them at contests and at Doheny, Trestle, etc. with the stickers on their boards. Keep in mind I was just a gremmie, but knew that surfers did not and would not conform, as long as possiable, and sometimes take the arrest. I remember the first summer that the "Black Ball" flag went up. I listened to the guys that I idolized talking in the pier parking lot (at a distance of course) about burning down a guard tower that night. That did not happen but the flags disappeared. We had one on the wall of the garage where we all kept our boards. Better than a nazi flag for sure. I knew that I had found my true tribe.
     
  9. Chilly Willy

    Chilly Willy Well-Known Member

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    It reminds me a little bit of the OLC crew in South Jersey with the OLC logo sprayed on their boards. When I googled it, I saw a few other similar ones along with people selling shirts with the Newport Surf Permit on the back. Funny how it could go from probably a hated thing to a retro throwback worthy of a shirt.
     
  10. Chilly Willy

    Chilly Willy Well-Known Member

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    That's awesome. Do you know what the process was like to get one? Did you actually have to bring your board in for inspection, or did you just pay the piper and take your sticker? It looks like Newport had it at least until 1967.

    Edit: Here's an excerpt from an article: "There were a few years in the 1960s when, if you wanted to surf in Newport Beach, you had to have the sticker. And the only way to get that sticker was to be a member, in good standing, of the Newport Beach Surfing Association, a surf club." Link: https://www.ocregister.com/2015/01/10/wave-after-wave-year-after-year-oc-surfers-stick-together/

    I guess this must have been similar to Kiernan Surfing Association in Long Branch, NJ. As my father in law tells the story, the town didn't really know where to put surfers but knew it could be a hazard in the swimming zones. The surfers agreed to take care of one particular stretch of beach designated for surfing only, but you had to pay your dues or whatever and get "the patch". Only surfers with the patch were allowed to surf there, which I guess was policed by the local surfers.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
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