The biggest show in surfing is coming to our northerly neighbor this week in the form of the U.S. Open of Surfing presented by Hurley.
This is the Super Bowl of surfing as far as crowds "” 500,000 people are expected to attend "” and glitz, but typically not for the quality of the waves themselves. No disrespect to Huntington Beach, but up against other competition venues such as J-Bay and Pipeline ... well, you get it.
The last surfer standing of this Huntington Beach competition will be holding a big cardboard check in the amount of "” $10,000? No, keep guessing. How about 100,000 bucks to the winner of this World Qualifying Series event.
Theoretically, a local amateur could make it through all the preliminary rounds of this competition and find themselves trading in their Top Ramen for much fancier cuisine, say Wahoo’s, for example. If you haven’t experienced the U.S. Open of Surfing but are looking for a sensory mosh pit that includes amazing surfing, tons of freebies from sponsors, open air concerts, BMX comps, and of course many, many tattoos, then you simply must make it up there this year.
When: Saturday through July 26, the finals are July 26.
Where: the southside of the Huntington Beach Pier
What: the world’s best surfers, plus the best up and comers battle it out for $100,000. Lots of stadium seating on the water’s edge for great viewing. Don’t forget: Bring sun block and get there early for parking
CHRIS WILLIAMS is a surfing coach and Laguna Beach resident, and father of four surf-crazy sons. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (949) 497-5918.