Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Surfing [Print without images]

Friday, June 15, 2012
Updated: June 19, 1:06 PM ET
Take off work for ISD


International Surfing Day is Wednesday. Go out and get some.

You know those people who make too big a deal over their own birthday? They plan it out weeks in advance. They go out for eight out of ten nights with different groups of people to celebrate. And for those who work in a cubicle, their birthday is a scene straight out of "The Office."

Surfers don't take off work on their birthday. We don't like to call out sick either. For those who hold down office jobs, teaching positions, civil service posts, bartending gigs or run their own businesses, those personal days are truly personal. We save them for the days when we wake up and check the swell has filled in and the wind is just right. And there's no way we're going to work.

Well International Surfing Day -- Wednesday, June 20 -- is a holiday just for us. And as you can see from the attached letter, the Surfrider Foundation has written you a special note to get you the day off. And it may not be that far-fetched, considering the California State Assembly recently passed a resolution recognizing ISD.

Surfrider says you can take the day off.

Surfrider has also announced a day long Web-a-thon, in the spirit of the day, a throwback to the old phone-athon that will feature a membership drive with all sorts of great prize packages. You can tune into Intlsurfingday.com to watch hosts Chris Cote and Susan Holmes McKagen (you be the judge of who's better looking) as they welcome shapers, surfers and environmentalists to the festivities. There will also be live performances by bands like Japanther and Fishbone. And if you're not familiar with Fishbone, lock yourself in your room this weekend and watch the documentary "Everyday Sunshine." And then get ready to move.

Kelly Slater and Steph Gilmore have been selected as ISD Ambassadors. They will spend the day posting to Facebook and Twitter about what they are doing all day, pressing environmental issues, and what you can do to help out.

"International Surfing Day is a day to take some time to appreciate this wonderful world we have and this incredible relationship we each have with the ocean," says Slater. "It is a day for environmentalism, family, friendships, travel and, most of all, riding waves. For us, this should be our big holiday right up there with Christmas and Halloween and Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day. It is a good time to remember all we've done and all the people and places we've gotten to know and reflect on where we're going to be in the future. Every day is a good day for all of these things, but this one just reminds us how good we have it and to not take it for granted."

In the spirit of the global community, Surfrider will also have dozens and dozens of events from Ghana to Texas. It appears that unless you live in certain regions of Eurasia, there's some way to get involved. And while not everywhere will be firing, get whatever kind of grovel craft you can find to celebrate with a few waves.

Look for an International Surfing Day gallery at ESPN Surfing later this week. But not on Wednesday. We're taking the day off.