Vaughn's Summaries logo Vaughn's Summaries

"Surf City USA" Research
SCSC Rebuttal Argument
Copyright and Trademark Law


(This page is not intended for small screens.)
by Vaughn Aubuchon

Settlement Reached!
Will the ORIGINAL Surf City please stand up?

From 2008

The Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau, the HBCVB, in its quest to monopolize the term "Surf City USA", erroneously claimed to have obtained an exclusive nationwide right to use the expression "Surf City USA". They therefore ordered a Santa Cruz merchant to stop selling a T-shirt that said "Surf City, Santa Cruz, California, usa.

View the Outlaw T-shirt which resulted in the aggressive Cease and Desist order, which precipitated the defensive lawsuit, at
Surf City Santa Cruz California usa Outlaw T-shirts.

SUIT SETTLED! Here are the new (in 2008)
Surf City Santa Cruz USA T-shirts.


Surf City Controversy

A. Townsend Huntington Beach Lawsuit - Events Timeline


B. Reverse Chronology of Surf City Media Articles


Surfing Spots - 1

Surfing History - 2

Surf City Waves - 3

Surf City Conditions - 4

Surf City Location - 5

Surfboard Shapers - 6

Surf City Surf Shops - 7

Surf City Propaganda - 8

Surf City Surfing Museum - 9

Surf City Events - 10

Surf City Weather - 11


Surf City Legal BS - 12

Surf City Visitors Bureau - 13

Surf City Lifestyle - 14

Surf City Attitude - 15

Surf City Alternatives - 16

Surf City Conclusion - 17

Disclaimer - 18

Maverick's Winners List

E. Early References to Santa Cruz As "Surf City"

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A. Townsend Huntington Beach Lawsuit -
Events Timeline - The Relevant FACTS,
From the Beginning to the Present

Nov. 18, 2004

The HBCVB files for registration of the SURF CITY USA mark on the Principal Register.

PTO Filing is acknowledged

Jun. 25, 2005

The Surf City USA trademarks were denied registration on the Principal Register.

PTO Office Action Outgoing - "Registration is refused"

Sept. 26, 2005

The Nolands begin selling the Surf City Santa Cruz Tee Shirts
The logo says, from top to bottom -

Feb. 7, 2006

The Surf City USA trademarks were AGAIN denied registration on the Principal Register.

PTO Office Action Outgoing -
"Insufficient Evidence to Support the Claim of Acquired Distinctiveness"

Feb. 16, 2006

The HBCVB asks to be registered on the Secondary Register, which would acknowlwdge their claims, but confer no exclusive rights.

Response to PTO Office Action -
"In response to the substantive refusal(s), please note the following:
Please amend application to seek registration on the Supplemental Register."

May 2, 2006

The trademark request is recorded on the Supplemental Register, acknowledging the claim of the HBCVB.

No "exclusive rights" have been granted.

Sept. xx, 2006

The HBCVB sends a Cease and Desist letter to the Nolands.

The Noland's are told to stop selling the T-shirts on Sept. 28, 2006.

Oct. 1, 2006

Tyler Ochoa: Stop dubious claims to intellectual property made by trademark bullies

Santa Cruz Sentinel - Oct. 1, 2006 - By TYLER T. OCHOA, professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, specializing in copyright and trademark law.

Oct. 12, 2006

Townsend Files Suit Against Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau

The Flotsam Complaint

Noland's on the Wharf and Shoreline Surf Shop Seek to Invalidate the Bureau's Claimed Trademark for the Benefit of all Merchants in Santa Cruz.

Feb. 1, 2007

First Court Decision Handed Down In Surf City Trademark Dispute

Huntington Beach Loses Bid to Have Case Transferred From Northern California.

Mar. 20, 2007

The HBCVB fires their old attorneys, and hires Gordon and Rees

Revocation of Attorney

Apr. 20, 2007

Townsend Scores Another Victory for Santa Cruz T-Shirt Shops in Trademark Dispute with Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau Over

Judge Denies Huntington Beach's Third Attempt to Move Case to Southern California.

Jan. 18, 2008

Hearing in San Francisco - United States District Court - Judge Maxine M. Chesney

Motion For Partial Summary Judgment regarding the term "Surf City" - Vacated

Jan. 18, 2008

Settlement Conference in San Francisco - United States District Court - Judge Edward M. Chen

A settlement was reached at the Settlement Conference - Results to be released on Jan. 25, 2008 - HBCVB releases results early on Jan. 22 - little revealed, other than "the bureau will keep its exclusive Surf City USA trademark."

Jan. 25, 2008

Jury Trial - San Francisco - United States District Court

Trial vacated

Jan. 26, 2008

The new Surf City Santa Cruz Tee Shirts go on sale.
The new logo says, from top to bottom -


Settlement details are confidential.

Thank you Townsend and Townsend for your assistance in this matter. Santa Cruz is very grateful for your support.

Dec. 16, 2009

New ripple in Surf City legal fights

Dec. 20, 2013


I would like to correct the article published in the Huntington Beach Wave on Dec. 13 titled, "Surf City's anniversary."

It is accurate that "Surf City Huntington Beach" was registered for the city of Huntington Beach by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office on Dec. 13, 1994. However, the trademark was canceled on Sept. 17, 2005.

Even more important to note is that when the Huntington Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau (later renamed the Marketing & Visitors Bureau) registered the name "Surf City USA", it did not sue anyone. A Santa Cruz surf shop filed a frivolous lawsuit against the visitors' bureau to strip Huntington Beach of the moniker, and the bureau didn't invest a nickel to defend it. Our insurance company paid approximately $250,000 in legal fees to finally have the lawsuit dismissed.

I should know, as I was at the helm of the visitors' bureau as its president at the time. I will always be proud of my role to market the great city of Huntington Beach and its Surf City USA name!

Doug Traub President/CEO Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Bureau

From the Orange County E-Register Dec. 20, 2013

My Response
Doug Traub keeps trying to rewrite history..
Lies and deception, even 5 years later.
It didn't work before, and it won't work now.

"... it did not sue anyone" - True
BUT HB WAS THE AGGRESSOR, by attacking Santa Cruz and issuing a Cease and Desist order, which FORCED a defensive lawsuit. Townsend and Townsend of Palo Alto, a preeminent copyright firm, which is not given to frivolous lawsuits, felt so strongly, that they initiated the lawsuit PRO BONO. They successfully protected the rights of Santa Cruz merchants. The lawsuit was never "dismissed". It was settled, as Doug well knows, much to the satisfaction of the Santa Cruz surf shop.

Doug would do well to quiet down.

The bottom line - Wipeout, LA Times, Jan. 2008

Huntington Beach sent him packing - Aug. 2008.

Huntington Beach Sued AGAIN - Dec. 11, 2009.

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B. Reverse Chronology of
Surf City Media Articles

Click here for the latest news -
Latest Surf City NEWS from Google News

New Ripple in Surf City Legal Fights - Santa Cruz Sentinel - Dec. 16, 2009

Huntington Beach is Surf City USA - Los Angeles Times - Jan. 31, 2008

Huntington Beach, Thy Name Should Not be 'Surf City USA' - World Hum - Jan. 30, 2008
"Huntington Beach: Most Litigious Surf City USA."
Huntington Beach: The 1 And Only 'Surf City USA' - CBS 2, Los Angeles - Jan. 28, 2008
"No Other Town Can Call Itself Nation's Surf Capital"

Santa Cruz shop to stop selling 'Surf City' T-shirts - Los Angeles Times - Jan. 28, 2008
Santa Cruz Shop Owner Settles Over - KCBS - Jan. 27, 2008

AP - Huntington Beach, Santa Cruz reachment 'Surf City USA' settlement - FoxReno, KTVU - Jan. 27, 2008
AP - Huntington Beach, Santa Cruz reachment 'Surf City USA' settlement - CBS 2, CBS 5, Contra Costa Times, KESQ, KSBY, Enterprise-Record, Fresno Bee, Press-Enterprise, San Luis Obispo Tribune - Jan. 26, 2008
Huntington Beach, Santa Cruz reachment 'Surf City USA' settlement
- S.J. Mercury News - Jan. 26, 2008

Huntington Beach wins 'Surf City' legal battle - North County Times - Jan. 26, 2008
Huntington Beach Prevails Over "Surf City." - KTLA Channel 5, Los Angeles - Jan. 26, 2008

It's official: Santa Cruz is not Surf City USA - San Jose Mercury News - Jan. 26, 2008
Santa Cruz shop owner settles Surf City lawsuit
- Monterey County Herald - Jan. 26, 2008
'Surf City' T-shirts to go on sale after legal battle settled - S.J.. Mercury News - Jan. 25, 2008
Surf City Dispute Settled - Santa Cruz Sentinel - Jan. 25, 2008

Huntington Beach settles Surf City USA lawsuit - OC Register - Jan. 22, 2008

Early References to Santa Cruz as Surf City - Vaughn's Summaries - Jan. 1, 2008

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As We See It: Goin' to Surf City - Santa Cruz Sentinel - Dec. 20, 2007
Santa Cruz shop owner continues battle to use "Surf City" moniker
- San Jose Mercury News - Dec. 19, 2007
In the name of Surf City, attorney seeks universal use of nickname - Santa Cruz Sentinel - Dec. 19, 2007
Surf City debate to get court ruling in January - Santa Cruz Sentinel - Dec. 18, 2007
City Juggles Its Four Logos - OC Register - Dec. 14, 2007 - And now, a 5th HB logo appears - Surf City Marathon
Surf City Art Show
- Metro Santa Cruz - Dec. 12, 2007
Surf City? Magazine ranks Santa Cruz sixth in the world - Santa Cruz Sentinel - Nov. 28, 2007
Editorial: Santa Cruz's Surf City state of mind belongs to everyone - (Removed) San Jose Mercury News - Apr. 18, 2007
Lawyers with Surfboards: It's All About the Surfing Spirit - Wired Blog - Apr. 12, 2007
Goin' to Surf City? Two Coastal Towns Claim the Title - The Wall Street Journal - Apr. 12, 2007
Surf City USA: Totally Rad Trademark Suit, Dude! - The Wall Street Journal Law Blog - Apr. 12, 2007
Surf City Trademark Fight Heats Up - Santa Cruz Sentinel - Feb. 18, 2007

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Surf City defending its name
- OC Register - Nov. 11, 2006
Huntington Beach Declares 'Surf's Up' to Defend Its Surf City USA brand - (Removed) Business Wire - Nov. 9, 2006
S.C. T-shirt Shop Fights Huntington Beach Threats - Santa Cruz Sentinel - Oct. 13, 2006
Here goes the media again - Oct. 13, 2006
(peaked at 99 newspapers)
Townsend Files Suit Against Huntington Beach - Townsend and Townsend - Oct. 12, 2006
Trademark bully stalks Santa Cruz - (Removed) San Jose Mercury News - Oct. 1, 2006
Tyler Ochoa: Stop dubious claims to intellectual property made by trademark bullies - Santa Cruz Sentinel - Oct. 1, 2006
Santa Cruz Surf City USA Tee Shirt - $1,000 - (Removed) Ad on Craig's list - Sept. 30, 2006
Turf Battle for Surf City - Los Angeles Times - Sept. 30, 2006
Surf City trademark dispute creates T-shirt craze - Santa Cruz Sentinel - Sept. 29, 2006
'Surf City' Rumble Heads to the Lawyers - - Sept. 27, 2006
Surf City tiff puts Santa Cruz on map - New Zealand Herald - Sept. 27, 2006
US towns fight for Surf City name - BBC - Sept. 26, 2006
Peaked at 147 major national and international newspapers, radio stations, at least 3 local Santa Cruz TV stations -
Surf City Lawsuit Turns T-shirts Into Collectors' Items - KSBW TV - (Removed) Sept. 25, 5 o'clock news - Thank you, Dan Green
New Surf City Nastiness - (Removed) San Jose Mercury - Sept. 25, 2006
Santa Cruz Surf City USA Tee Shirt - $200 - (Removed) Ad I saw on Craig's list - Sept. 24, 2006
Surf City Rivalry Goes to Lawyers - CBS News - Sept. 24, 2006
Surf City Rivalry Goes to Lawyers - FOX News - Sept. 24, 2006
Huntington Beach Rides Legal Wave - (Removed) LA Times - Sept. 23, 2006
Huntington Beach Takes Surf City to Lawyers - (Removed) San Jose Mercury - Sept. 23, 2006
Santa Cruz T-shirt Shop Caught in Middle of Feud - Santa Cruz Sentinel - Sept. 23, 2006
Fight Over Surf City Name Ends - Orange County Register - Sept. 1, 2006
Sen. Joe Simitian Drops the Ball - At least, he tried - He took a shot.

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New Evidence Santa Cruz is Surf City - S.C. Boardwalk - Nov. 16, 2005
Huntington Beach Officials Say Legislative Attempt to Usurp ``Surf City USA'' Trademark is No Laughing Matter - Business Wire - August 29, 2005
Not so fast there, 'Surf City' - CalCoast News - Aug. 19, 2005
Towns Tussle Over Surf City - CBS - July 27, 2005
Lawyers jump in as cities fight for surf title - The Guardian - July 25, 2005
Where's the Real Surf City, USA? - Christian Science Monitor - July 20, 2005
Californians feud over true location of 'Surf City' - USA Today - July 20, 2005
Tale of Two Cities Vying for Title of Surf Capital - - July 2, 2005
A Tale of Two Surf Cities - Surfer Magazine - Jan. 13, 2005

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Historical References to Surf City

(thank you Stephen Williams, San Jose Mercury Herald and S.C. Beach Boardwalk) -

From the Late 20th Century - (continuing in reverse chronological order)
Santa Cruz: Visions of Surf City - Patrick Trefz - Published 2002 by Solid Publishing, Inc.
. . . Kiwanis members visited the Surf City Club in Santa Cruz - Van Nuys Valley News - Mar. 28, 1974 (SW)
And Surf City folk still point with pride to the 1907 seashore ...
- Oakland Tribune - May 21, 1961 (SW)
Now the Surf City is winning fame as California winter resort.
- Pasco Tri-City Herald - Jan. 5, 1958 (SW)

From the Early 20th Century
Henry Mayo - Santa Cruz Surf Pioneer - Santa Cruz Public Library - 1938
History of the Santa Cruz Surfing Club
- Santa Cruz Public Library - 1936
. . . 1847 cottage with "the first 'bay window' that the surf city ever boasted
- Oakland Tribune - Mar. 24, 1929 (SW)
Hoover Company Convention At Surf City Santa Cruz
- San Jose Mercury Herald - Nov. 13, 1927
Surf City Dog Show A Success, Declare Experts - San Jose Mercury Herald - July 20, 1926
. . . plenty of time to bask in the sun on the beach at the Surf City... Oakland Tribune - Jun. 1, 1924 (SW)
Prize Winners At Surf City Santa Cruz
- San Jose Mercury Herald - Oct. 23, 1923
Summer activity at the surf city does not start until the middle of June - Oakland Tribune - Apr. 27, 1919 (SW)
. . . De La Veaga Heights in Santa Cruz and other Surf City holdings.
- Reno State Journal - Apr. 10, 1913 (SW)
The Surf City Wheelmen of Santa Cruz
. - Oakland Tribune - Apr. 3, 1913 (SW)
. . . basketball is played in the Surf City
- Oakland Tribune - Mar. 20, 1908 (SW)
Teachers... In Santa Cruz. Commodious Quarters Secured At Surf City Hotels
- Oakland Tribune - Dec. 12, 1907 (SW)
Santa Cruz - Second Annual Mardi Gras Surpasses All Events of Surf City
- Oakland Tribune - Sept. 8, 1907 (SW)
. . . Ostrich Farm Comes to Surf City - The Santa Cruz Surf - Dec. 6, 1906 (Thank you Frank Perry)
Many Buildings In Ruins at the Surf City Santa Cruz
- San Jose Mercury and Herald - April 19, 1906
Alameda Cricket Club trounced "the Surf City players" ... at Santa Cruz - Oakland Tribune - Jul. 4, 1904 (SW)
(plus about 50 others, to be listed later)

From the 19th Century
"The boys who go in swimming in the surf at Seabright beach use surfboard to ride the breakers like the Hawaiians." - The Daily Surf - July 3, 1896
Hawaiian Princes Surf-swimming Exhibition in Santa Cruz - The Daily Surf - July 20, 1885

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1. Surf City
(as designated by
top surfing magazines)

Santa Cruz

North to South
Greyhound Rock
4 Mile
3 Mile
Steamer Lane
..... Third Reef
..... The Point
..... Middle Peak
..... The Slot
..... Indicators
River Mouth
Harbor Mouth (7th)
26th Avenue
Pleasure Point (32nd)
Sewer Peak (36th)
38th Avenue
The Hook (41st)

(Complete Santa Cruz Beach List)

Huntington Beach


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2. Surf City HISTORY

Santa Cruz
Three Hawaiian princes used redwood planks to surf the mouth of San Lorenzo River in 1885, making Santa Cruz the first spot in the state where surfing occurred.

Duke Kahanamoku, Hawaiian surfer and 1912 Olympic swimming medalist, first
came to Santa Cruz in 1910, to demonstrate his swimming skill. He returned to California in 1919 to popularize the sport of surfing.

Where did he go first? Santa Cruz. NOT Huntington Beach. Where did he have his redwood boards made? Santa Cruz.

Jack O'Neill Santa Cruz
Jack O'Neill invented the wetsuit in Santa Cruz in the early 1960's. ". . strap my board on my back, and hitch a ride in my wetsuit". Jan and Dean would NEVER HAVE HAD a wetsuit, were it not for Jack O'Neill of Santa Cruz. Jack, now 83, was recently rushed to the hospital. We wish Jack the very best.

Jack's son Pat invented the leg rope, or "
surf leash" in Santa Cruz in 1971. O'Neill is also responsible for the "board bag" invention, as well as the first "surf boot".

Santa Cruz Boardwalk tells us that in 1927, the San Jose Mercury Herald described Santa Cruz as Surf City. "The article documents Santa Cruz's right to the title "Surf City" thirty-six years prior to the release of the Jan and Dean hit song of the same title."

When Santa Cruz was Surf City in 1927, HB was nothing but
oil derricks, and oil derricks. Even up to the 1960's, Huntington Beach was "Oil City", not surf city. In the 1950's, when my step-father used to drive us through Huntington Beach, the stench of raw petroleum filled the air; I don't remember any surfers.

In the excellent "
History of Surfing" pages at, Santa Cruz is mentioned 6 times; the word Huntington is mentioned once, referring to the man Henry Huntington, not the city.

Huntington Beach
Years later, Duke visited Huntington Beach, "in the early 1920's", to "fill-out" his good-will tour.

The Huntington Beach museum acts like Duke founded their city! Have you
looked here? And here. And here? And here? And here?

They reach for everything, and try to make it their own.. Museum hodads, in it for The Style - glory, and merchandise sales.

"Huntington Beach is relentlessly commercial . ." . . LA Times

HBCVB Board of Directors :

"We're just transitioning into Surf City USA, and over the next five to 10 years, this is going to become a powerhouse of brand identity. I think we struck a gold mine."

The HBCVB feels like they are entitled to the name, because " . . we have invested more than $500,000 to develop and market the 'Surf City USA' trademarks,".

So, the justification for the HBCVB claim is - money logic. To paraphrase, "We have spent the most money; therefore, we are entitled to it."

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3. Surf City WAVES
(2008 data)

Santa Cruz
An excellent assortment of underwater topographies, from the Cowell's sand bar which is perfect for beginners, to the thunderous roar of Steamer Lane, 1/2 mile away. Huntington Beach has NOTHING to compare with the variety of conditions offered by Santa Cruz.

Simple Google Image Search Results -

santa cruz surf = 141,000

huntington beach surf = 66,500
less than one-half

santa cruz waves = 178,000

huntington beach waves = 74,300
less than one-half

santa cruz surfing = 154,000

huntington beach surfing = 67,200
less than one-half

What about THIS ONE?
surf city santa cruz = 164,000

surf city huntington beach = 55,600
one-third as many!
HB clearly has a problem.

Huntington Beach
Hapless wharf shore break, and ???
Big surf in Orange County?
Gimme a BREAK!
On winter storm days only.
"Much ado about nothing". . W.S.

The HBCVB, in so many words, has accused Santa Cruz of attempting to steal their "trademarked" identity. I believe that they have it backwards. In fact, it is the HBCVB who is attempting the identity theft.

A familiar tactic, older than the hills. Accuse the other party, of what you yourself are guilty of. Repeat a lie loudly enough, and people start to believe it.

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Santa Cruz
COLD water,
usually around 53º-60ºF. Real men and REAL women, like Cathy, and Jamilah Starr, live and surf here. Most Southies can't take our cold - many won't even come up here - too chilly and too scary - we've got many more Great White sharks in Santa Cruz, which is in the Red Triangle, where over 1/2 of the world's shark attacks on humans occur.

Santa Cruz is for gnarly surfing. For women surfers as well, when surfing in Santa Cruz.

Huntington Beach
Mostly warm, usually around 60º-70ºF, little challenge.

Lots of FLASH culture, but light on big wave surfing exploits.

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5. Surf City LOCATION
(2008 data)

Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz is located 50 miles from
Maverick's New Site, the supreme California surfing challenge, which produces the largest waves on the West Coast of California. Many of the world's best surfers live here.
Jeff Clark of the Maverick's Surfing Contest only
invites 24 top surfers - here are 9 of them from Santa Cruz -
Kenny "Skindog" Collins
Shane Desmond
Josh Loya
Peter "Condor" Mel
Russell Smith
Tyler Smith
Anthony Tashnick
Darryl "Flea" Virostko
Zack Wormhoudt

Maverick's Old Site - Jeff Clark

Mavsurfer Photos/ Livecam Site

List of Maverick's Winners

A few other Santa Cruz shredders -
Shawn "Barney" Barron
Randy "the Kid" Bonds
Vince Collier (VC Shapebear)
Alistair Craft
Jason "Ratboy" Collins
Jesse Columbo
Bud Frietas
Kieren Horn
Adam Replogle
Zolly Torkos
Nat Young (sorry, Dude)

Huntington Beach
Huntington Beach is 400 miles from Maverick's, or anything resembling Maverick's.

Except maybe
Cortez Bank, but there isn't any city out there.

This year, there are two Maverick's invitees from southern California -
Greg Long - Winner
Evan Slater

Both are from San Clemente, CA.

Congratulations to Greg Long, for his win at the 2007/2008 Mavericks Surf Contest on Jan. 12, 2008.

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6. Surf City Surfboard SHAPERS
(2008 data)

Santa Cruz Has 18
Arrow Surfboards
Cobalt Surfboards
Doug Banks
Doug Haut Surfboards
Freeline Design Surfboards
JD Rocket Surfboards
Johnny Rice Custom Surfboards
M10 Surfboards
Michel Junod Surfboards
Natural Curves Boards
NOE Surfboards - Delaware St.
Santa Cruz Surfboards
Schroedel Surfboards
Stretch Boards
SurfTech Surfboards
Taylor Made Surfboards
Ward Coffey Shapes

Huntington Beach Has 3
McConnell Surfboards
Robert August Surfboards
Sakal Surfboards

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7. Surf City SURF SHOPS
(2008 data)

Santa Cruz Has 16
ASD - Longboard Heaven
Arrow Surf Shop
Billabong Surf Shop - 41st
Cowell's Surf Shop
Essential Surf Company
Freeline Surf Shop
Heat Wave Custom Wetsuits
Hotline Wetsuits
O'Neill Surf Shop - 1071 41st
O'Neill Surf Shop - 1115 41st
O'Neill Surf Shop - Beach St.
O'Neill Surf Shop - Pacific Ave.
Pacific Wave Board Shop
Paradise Surf Shop
Santa Cruz Surf Shop
Shoreline Surf Shop

City Population: 55,000
Surf Shops per Capita:
1 for every 3,438 people

Huntington Beach Has 9
5th Street Surf Shop
HB Wahini
Huntington Surf and Sport - Edinger
Huntington Surf and Sport - Main
Huntington Surf and Sport - PCH
Huntington Surf and Sport - Warner
Jack's Surfboards
Rockin Fig
Skate Surf Snow

City Population: 190,000
Surf Shops per Capita:
1 for every 22,111 people

Earliest California Surf Shops -
1949 - Dale Velzy - Manhattan Beach Pier, boards only

1952 - Jack O'Neill - San Francisco (moved to Santa Cruz in 1959)
"The Great Highway near San Francisco's Ocean Beach was home to the first modern day surf shop. Velsy and Hobie had shops down south, but they only sold boards. Jack sold surfboards, wetsuits, and stuff for the beach. He decided to call his place "Surf Shop", for which he received a Federal Registration. "I was able to get a federal trademark registration on the name 'Surf Shop' too," says Jack.

1953 - Dale Velzy - Malibu, boards only

1954 -
Hobie Alter - Dana Point, boards only

1955? -
Duane Gordon (Gordie) - Huntington Beach, boards only

19?? - HSS - Just sales, no history section
19?? - Jack's Surfboards - Just sales, no history section
19?? - 5th Street Surf Shop - Just sales, no history section

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(2008 data)

Santa Cruz
In any objective analysis, Santa Cruz, CA should win the Surf City USA moniker hands down, based upon an overwhelming preponderance of the evidence.

The efforts of Democratic state Sen. Joe Simitian have fallen short on this one. He made an attempt to champion our cause, but he was forced to give up.

To be fair, he was on a fool's errand - a Santa Cruz Champion, unfunded. Don Quixote, with no horse. Righteous zeal, with no means.

How can we expect a public servant, with many other obligations, to do righteous battle against a multimillion dollar commercial consortium, spreading cash and propaganda galore, to sell exclusive goods and fill hotel rooms?
Not too fair, is it?
We should give Joe a break - at least he did something.

Huntington Beach
The Huntington Beach Conference and Visitor's Bureau claim to fame is based largely upon the 1960's singers Jan and Dean. This is Pop singer based criteria, NOT surfing. Jan and Dean made NO MENTION of Huntington Beach in the song "Surf City", written by Brian Wilson. Retroactively, Dean Torrence, now on the HBCVB payroll, infers the song referred to Huntington, after he moved there in 1991, 28 years after the song came out. However, he told the Telegraph, "Torrence, 64, said his 1963 hit was not based on a specific place."

"Santa Cruz is a pretty cool place, but it ain't a surf town", Torrence told the Guardian, and USA Today. I guess Dean must not get out much. No credibility here. After all, he has cut a deal with the Huntington Beach HBCVB, to use his surf song on the Official Huntington Beach HBCVB site. "Everybody gets a piece," says Torrence.

The Beach Boys mention Santa Cruz in "Surfin USA", BUT NOT Huntington Beach.
" . . catch them surfin at Del Mar,
Ventura County Line,
Santa Cruz and Trestles,
Australia's Narrabeen,
All over Manhattan,
and down Doheny way, . . .

At Haggertys and Swamies,
Pacific Palisades,
San Onofre and Sunset,
Redondo Beach LA,
All over La Jolla, and Waimea Bay . . ."

but no "Huntington". At all. Nope.

Do you actually believe that harmony genius Brian Wilson would forget HB in the song "Surfin USA", and include 12 OTHER local beaches? HOW ON EARTH can HB be "Surf City USA", when it was NOT EVEN MENTIONED? ---
According to Brian, "I asked [Jimmy] to make a list of every surf spot he knew, and by God he didn't leave one out!"
Surf City USA?

So, using Huntington's own Pop surf-song based criteria, HB has a problem.

It should also be noted that the song was named "Surf City", NOT "Surf City USA"! The refrain was, "Surf City, here we come".

Bring a wetsuit.

I bet the HBCVB would give anything, if only the refrain had been written "Surf City, U - S - A". Of course, that is essentially what Torrence tried to do in 1991, when he moved there - a
strong campaign described on the Huntington Beach HBCVB website.

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(2008 data)

Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Surfing Museum - 1986
The FIRST surfing museum in the world.

A small but honest community supported project, staffed on Fridays by Henry Mayo, a local surfer from the 1930's.

Local Legends - What? No photo of Duke here? After all, he visited here first.

The Santa Cruz Surf Museum does not indulge in extreme "overreaching". They don't feel they have to.

Huntington Beach
Huntington Beach Surfing Museum - 1987
Relies heavily upon flashy hype, graphics and music, and appropriation - little upon local surfing merits - Huntington Beach HBCVB Hollywood Walk of Fame vs. Santa Cruz Reality.

Appropriate everything you can from everywhere else, and call it your own. Feature a famous Hawaiian surfer, who merely VISITED, on almost every page.
Index. And collection. And Hall of Fame. And Surf Walk. And Duke Kaha.
When you don't have anything yourself, you must borrow.


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10. Surf City EVENTS
(2008 data)

Santa Cruz
O'Neill Cold Water Classic

Maverick's Surfing Contest

Santa Cruz Surf Kayak Festival

12th Annual Woodies on the Wharf

Huntington Beach
The Annual Summer Surf Contest page.

Mostly summer flat water nonevents, anyway.

On June 16, 2006, Huntington Beach adopted the woody as the "Official Car of Huntington Beach" - another example of attempting to promote the myth of HB as Surf City USA.

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11. Surf City WEATHER

Santa Cruz
Cold, dark, dank, windy wet, rainy - who would ever want to come up here? How much fun could that be? Windy. Stormy. Big, dangerous waves.Few venture forth.

Huntington Beach
You win. We give up. Being that much closer to the equator does the job - far warmer, far more sunshine. But "Sunshine City" does not necessarily equate to "Surf City".

Of course, San Diego could give HB some serious competition regarding this metric.

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D. My Political Opinions

12. Surf City LEGAL BS
(2008 data)

Santa Cruz
Attack your most viable competition, which of course, happens to be the genuine article - Santa Cruz, the Original Surf City USA - denigrate your northern brethren.

Who is next?
Surf City Aids Project, SC, USA
Surf City Autobroker, SC, USA
Surf City Barber, Santa Cruz, USA
Surf City Cafe, Santa Cruz, USA
Surf City Catamarans, SC, USA
Surf City Chiropractic, SC, USA
Surf City Coffee, Santa Cruz, USA
Surf City Cyclo-x, Santa Cruz
Surf City Golf, Santa Cruz, USA
Surf City Grill, Santa Cruz, USA
Surf City Growers, Watsonville
Surf City Hash House, SC, USA
Surf City Inspection, SC, USA
Surf City Live, Santa Cruz, USA
Surf City Motors, SC, USA
Surf City Plumbing, SC, USA
Surf City Pool and Spa, SC, USA
Surf City Produce, SC, USA,
Surf City Properties
Surf City Shuttle, SC, USA
Surf City Slackers, SC, USA
Surf City Suds, Santa Cruz, USA
Surf City Waterscapes, SC, USA
and historically -
Surf City Restaurant
Surf City Souvenirs
Surf City Barber Shop - 1910
Surf City Cleaners - 1911
Surf City Law Agency - 1911
Surf City Abstract Co. - 1913
Surf City Distributors - 1933
Surf City Produce - 1945
Surf City Motors
Surf City Realty

and elsewhere

Surf City Car Wash, Ohio, USA
Surf City Design, NH
Surf City Fishing, NC
Surf City Hotel, Surf City, NJ
Surf City Squeeze, Arizona, USA
Surf City Surf Shop, NC
Surf City, Texas
Surf City Yacht Club, NJ
What about Surf City, NJ, USA?
What about
Surf City, NC, USA?
These are official city names.
What is the Huntington Beach HBCVB going to do about THEM?

Huntington Beach
It is not correct to suggest that Huntington Beach is THE USA Surf City. This is wishful thinking on the part of the HBCVB.

The HBCVB is continually telling the media that the Patent Trademark Office (PTO) has granted HB exclusive use of a "Surf City USA" trademark. This is UNTRUE.

The phrase is listed in the Supplemental Register only, which merely acknowledges the HBCVB claim - no "exclusive rights" have been granted. The mark was REFUSED REGISTRATION in the Principal Register on June 25, 2004.

Yet, in spite of this, the HBCVB has decided to TELL EVERYONE that the trademarks have been granted! They have not! They have merely been registered.

The HBCVB has a lot of promotion money ($579,000 per year, generated by a hotel TOT - Transient Occupancy Tax).

Maybe too much money. Especially, when they use the cash to initiate spurious legal claims against the Original Surf City.

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13. Surf City
(2008 data)

Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz promotes tourism fairly and honestly, through the
Santa Cruz County Conference and Visitor's Council.

As Christina Glynn of the SCCCVC has so aptly noted, "HB has wrangled their first outlaw." I wonder if she will ever get her M&Ms back? I'll bet they get consumed.

Huntington Beach
The Huntington Beach HBCVB aggressively seeks to monopolize the term Surf City USA, for the express purpose of profiteering. For the Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau, it's all about money. Rather than embracing the aloha surfing spirit, they seek to secure all the marbles for themselves.

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14. Surf City LIFESTYLE

Santa Cruz
Far more laid back, open spirited surfers, who are more interested in surfing,

Huntington Beach
Money focus in Hyper-town - powerful commercialism. At the top of the page, in ALL capital letters, it states, "WHERE IT ALL BEGAN." Where WHAT all began? Certainly NOT surfing! Such presumption. Such arrogance. Pure marketing BS.

If you spread enough money around, you can make something appear to be what it is not.

Just substitute talk, tinsel, and a flashy museum for your meager waves. Then, try to use the legal system to obtain a special, unwarranted, exclusionary status.


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15. Surf City USA
(2008 data)

As often occurs in matters of law, he who is the most aggressive, gets the most attention. This is nothing new, and is exactly what has happened in this case. The Huntington Beach HBCVB has the deepest pockets, but unfortunately, poor credentials. Shame on them. As they attempt to round up all the cash from California visitors, Santa Cruz has the waves, the one thing which the Huntington Beach HBCVB can't ever buy, beg, borrow, or steal.

All the legal correspondence refers to the "Surf City USA" brand. The HBCVB enforcement attorneys make no overt claim to the term "Surf City". Yet, by implication and intimidation, the HBCVB is ALSO attempting to grab exclusive use of the term "Surf City".

Apparently, the original "Surf City USA" filings were inadequate. The HBCVB has clearly been
going after people who use the more common, generic phrase "Surf City", AS WELL, since 2006. Even though they only filed registration for "Surf City USA".

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(2008 data)

This power grab needs to be legally confronted.
For instance, what about
Surf City, USA, NJ and Surf City, USA, NC?

OR, any other place that decides to call itself "Surf City(comma) USA"?


What did the Huntington Beach HBCVB NOT try to register?
Original Surf City
Original Surf City USA

Surf City California
Surf City U.S.A.
(with periods)
True Surf City USA

World Famous Surf City USA
Which one should SCSC (Surf City Santa Cruz) go for first?

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17. Surf City CONCLUSION

Let's see.
Santa Cruz has -
World-class surfing (#1),
Most surfing spots (#1),
FIRST California surfing (#2),
Earliest newspaper reference to "Surf City" (1904) (
FIRST United States Surf Shop - Federally Recognized (#7),
Wetsuit invention
Surf Boot invention
Surf Leash invention (
Board Bag Invention (
Most variety of waves
Most variety of surfing spots
Biggest waves
Best surfers
Most surfboard shapers (#6)
Most surf shops per capita (#7),
Most surf shops PERIOD (#7),
Mentioned in Surfin' USA - "
He didn't leave one out." (except HB?) (#8)
FIRST Surfing Museum in the World (#9)
plus other advantages -
Better water quality
Healthier UV index
WAY smaller crowds
Better Visitors' Bureau attitude
Best ex-mayors,
Forever canonized by Head Beach Boy Brian Wilson,
who highlighted Santa Cruz and ignored Huntington Beach, in his song "Surfin USA

Is that not enough? What more is required?
Using ANY yardstick except the "hype index",

Santa Cruz IS Surf City. Mainland, fer shure, Dude. Whether it has USA after it, or not.

What does HB have? A 1960's pop singer, with an imaginative memory. And the most strippers in California, according to Surfer Magazine (check out the very apt "2035" comment at the bottom of the page - except the date is wrong - it's 2009).

The thought that the Huntington Beach HBCVB could be awarded an exclusive right to use the term "Surf City" is ludicrous upon examination. It is absurd on the face of it, as shown by the above evidence. But with a cache of money, and 2 enforcement lawyers, anything is possible,
as you can see.
A right unasserted, can be a right denied, and possibly a right stolen.

The Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau may attempt to acquire exclusive rights to "Surf City USA" beach merchandise, but there is absolutely nothing they can ever do, to get the year-round superior surfing waves that Santa Cruz is famous for.

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The opinions stated above are those of the author Vaughn F. Aubuchon, and no one else. You may disagree with my conclusions. Many of you will. Nonetheless, I choose to exercise my right of free speech, and set the record straight.

I've heard all the one-sided unchallenged propaganda from the Huntington Beach Convention and Visitor's Bureau that I am going to listen to, without appropriate response.

Good spiritedness does not mean Santa Cruz will be forever stomped upon. Truth will out. This page contains VERIFIABLE FACTS, honest free-speech opinion, and a little political satire, to engender and maintain a sense of humor.

I suppose the thing that irritates me the most, is that I love the song. Rats! HB has got me there. But should this legal issue really be determined by ONE SONG? With no mention of HB? Except RETROACTIVELY, 28 years later, by the revisionist singer? In the words of that famous legal icon Jackie Childs, "It's outrageous, egregious, preposterous!"

To Be Specific - Santa Cruzans have many fine surfer friends from Huntington Beach, but not at the HBCVB. Most Huntington Beach residents have great attitudes, and many are excellent surfers. Our issue lies with the Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors' Bureau, the HBCVB. Just to be clear on this.


It's time to slow down the HBCVB Juggernaut, and its attempted
corporate sponsored city identity theft.

Thank you very much for your time.

Santa Cruz is the TRUE
Surf City California USA.
In the "secondary meaning" sense, not actual city name sense.

Santa Cruz Supporters - Please link to this page
It would be helpful to include the adjacent or anchor text "Original Surf City" plus "Santa Cruz",
or, "Huntington Beach" and "Surf City USA" if you prefer, in any combination you wish.

Thank you very much. Santa Cruz thanks you.

NOTICE - I was done with this in 2008, and I removed this page. I have restored this page on Jan. 14, 2013 for one reason. Doug Traub, from his new gig at Lake Havasu Arizona, continues to spew disinformation about the case 5 years later. This page responds to this misinformation, and will not be taken down again.


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This SURF CITY SANTA CRUZ Outlaw T-shirt summary
was last updated on 2019-03-30 (last was February 10, 2008).