A surfer on a north Devon beach in the early 1900s
Plans have been approved for Britain's only surfing museum to become a registered charity.
The Museum of British Surfing was established in 2003 as a touring exhibition, but a permanent home is planned for Braunton in north Devon.
Its charity status was approved by the Charity Commission.
The museum's founder, Peter Robinson, said the country's surfing heritage could now be celebrated and preserved for the British public.
"This is wonderful news and a massive boost for the museum project," he said.
"It is also formal backing for the work we are planning to do on education, the environment and health through surfing."
North Devon District Council has approved planning permission for a purpose-built museum in Braunton, which it is hoped will be ready to open by next summer.
Mr Robinson said the museum was working to establish a number of partnerships, including with the British Surfing Association, the University of Plymouth - which offers a surf science degree - the environmental campaign group Surfers Against Sewage and the North Devon's Biosphere Reserve.
British surfers have been riding the waves since the 19th Century
The museum already has support from the Surfing Heritage Foundation in California and the Australian Surf World Museum in Victoria.
It is believed the first British people to try surfing were members of Captain James Cook's crew in 1779, while the earliest references to surfing in Britain date back to the mid-1800s.
The museum has black and white cine film of a group of surfers taking to the waves in Cornwall on a homemade wooden longboard in 1929.
The exhibits will also include a collection of about 150 British surfboards, some of which are more than 100 years old.