Surf’s up.

Hawaii became the first state to officially recognize surfing as a high school sport, which will take effect by the spring of 2013. Funding for the program will come from the private sector and the community.

“Surfing has been a really big part of my life and has taught me a lot of valuable lessons: what hard work and perseverance can do, time management and how to stay organized,” said Carissa Moore, 18, Association of Surfing Professionals women’s world champion.

For kids who aren’t inclined to try out for the football team, this initiative is seen as a way to broaden the state’s offerings where surfing is already so popular.

“It’s quite clear, when you think of Hawaii, you think of surfing,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie. “From Duke Kahanamoku to the thousands of residents and visitors who surf both recreationally and competitively, the sport is rooted in our culture and way of life.”

[ESPN]