Stab Magazine | The US Open Is Headed To Surf City...No, "The Soul Of So Cal"

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The US Open Is Headed To Surf City…No, “The Soul Of So Cal”

The good and bad of nine soul sucking days. 

news // Jul 23, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Awhile back the Huntington Beach City Council decided not to renew the license for the phrase “Surf City”. They wanted to expand their horizons, they said. Attract a bigger crowd, they argued. Huntington’s new tagline: “The soul of SoCal.”

“It’s the only place in the world I’ve seen where you can actually sign-up and become a member of the Nazi party,” recently noted the parent of an U.S. Open competitor.

“Surf City” was bad, but at least it was understandable. Seems the city council missed the mark on this one. During the Open the great crossroads of Main Street and P.C.H. could be described as eclectic, but certainly not soulful. I’ve seen the Nazis there sharing the side walk with the crazed Christian demonstrators waving posters of mutilated fetuses. There’s the legalise weed crew, and tween girls with the words “tap this” scribbled in Sharpie above their ever-shrinking bikini bottoms. They’re matched by confused, pimply boys with the words “suck this” written across their stomachs—too young to understand that it doesn’t work that way. When the surfers come to town for the Open they hide in the Shorebreak Hotel and only braving the masses when they’ve got a heat or an autograph signing—why do you think Bob Hurley had to up the first place $100,000 a few years ago?

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Let the body paint splatter.

Amongst all the depravity are some things to tune into for the Open next week. The women’s world title race is lighting up. It’s hometown girl Courtney Conlogue’s time to shine. The world’s already seen her naked, she’s atop the world title ratings and a win in front of the local crowd would be a career moment. There are also the Brazilians, if you’re into that kind of thing–Filipe Toledo will probably win. And behind him you have Italo Ferreira, Alejo Muniz, Adriano de Souza, Caio Ibelli, Miguel Pupo and Wiggolly Dantas. The surf’s gonna be shit, so bet on Brazil.


We’re calling the 2014 US Open champ for the win…because it’s really the safest bet, unless Mr Ohara’s spent all his money on cars. Photo: WSL

However, the Vans Park Series is going to be insane. Greyson Fletcher and Curren Caples are in the program, which will be a good watch. And the Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational will be the only time during the Open that you’ll see a wave ridden with grace and style, opposed to doing the “Huntington hop” to the inside section, finished off with an air-reverse. And, pro longboarders don’t get paid, well, anything really and in turn that makes them cool.


Last year’s victors Hiroto Ohhara and Johanne Defay soaking in the “Soul of So Cal”. Photo: WSL

Of course, there are some things you won’t see, like a stout Japanese title defense. As gangster as Hiroto Ohhara’s win at the Open was last year, don’t expect a repeat performance. He’s got three heat wins in five events this year. You also won’t see much surf. The forecast calls for dusty, dirty, blown out and dick-high conditions up until the last day or two, where there’s a slight bump. The Open runs on a tight script. When it comes to surf, what you see is what you get.

This is your 2016 U.S. Open…soul and all.


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