Going To The US Open? Don’t Drive!
But do go, even if just for the dirty brass.
The US Open of Surfing is back in 2016, inflating Huntington Beach with mass human skin graffiti, heat/alcohol-exhausted minors, maybe rioting, and professional surfers milking crumbly Huntington reforms, all amidst a wonderful cloud of dust. The OC Register dedicated an entire article to where you should park if you go to the US Open, because the parking is so bad and the event is so crowded. There’s plenty to dislike about it.
But, there’s also a ton to love! The US Open of Surf is anything but dull.
The way the main event surfers find Huntington’s rough diamonds is true art. Paddling Jaws is a very specific skill, as is down-the-line, top-to-bottom surfing at a pointbreak, but squeezing every little piece of juice out of a Huntington lump is also a very specific skill. Don’t hate. It’s also tactical heat surfing at its best; Scrappy four-man Q battles at a beachbreak? I can hear the gnashing teeth from here.
Surfers in this year’s event include Kolohe Andino, Michel Bourez, Ryan Callinan, Conner Coffin, Italo Ferreira, Jack Freestone, Josh Kerr, Jordy Smith, Filipe Toledo, Julian Wilson, Mason Ho, and way more. The US Open has a knack for attracting the biggest names, despite its Q rating and notoriously challenging surf. See the full list of players, here.
Also, Brett Simpson will be there.
Then there’s the women’s side of the draw. This isn’t a Q for the gals, but rather a World Tour event, and in case you missed it, we’re currently in a golden era of women’s pro surf. Courtney Conlogue and Tyler Wright are battling for the world title: Tyler’s won three events, but is dragged to second on the ladder by her 13th in Fiji. Courts has played with consistency and sits atop the rankings with a first, two seconds, a third and a fifth. Not a whole lot separates them. Scrappy battles at Huntington will surely ensue.
Then there’s the beach party vibes. Big, cheesy, awesome party vibes. It starts early and loud and you’ll have plenty of fun trying to sneak into invite-only do’s later, but while the sun’s up, just float around the event. Because Also worth attending the US Open for is the crowd. People watching at its finest, real life versions of the Pokemon you’ve been chasing, all shapes, all sizes, all covered in bad texta body art or bad permanent body art. Watch your favourite pros interact with them, fight them off for the best surf-viewing positions, eavesdrop on their bizarre conversations. Even try and interact with your favourite pros yourself! If you live in the area, there’s worse things to do through the last week of July. Maybe.
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