Published: Oct 03, 2011 11:18 PM EDT

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii will soon become the first state in the nation to have surfing as an official high school sport.
    
Gov. Neil Abercrombie and state education officials on Monday said that surfing will join the likes of football, basketball, volleyball and swimming as a state-sanctioned prep sport, starting as early as Spring 2013.
    
A news conference was held on Waikiki beach near the statue of island icon Duke Kahanamoku, an Olympic gold medal swimmer known as the father of modern surfing.
    
Surfing is part of the culture in Hawaii, known for its world-class surf breaks and competitions. The Aloha State is home to many pro surfers and has produced several world champions.
    
Hawaii's Carissa Moore, who this summer became the youngest world champion at age 18, joined Abercrombie in the announcement.

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