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U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach is canceled amid COVID-19 pandemic

Yago Dora of Brazil celebrates with fans in Huntington Beach after winning the 2019 Vans U.S. Open of Surfing.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The Vans U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach has been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, event organizers announced in a statement Monday.

“The Vans US Open of Surfing has always been about bringing people together in a healthy, fun and interactive environment, and given the size and scale of the event, we can’t see a way to do that this year without sacrificing the very thing that makes it so special,” said Jennifer Lau, Vice President of Action Sports at IMG, which owns the event.

The weeklong showcase of action sports, which was also supposed to include skate and BMX competition during its original Aug. 1-9 schedule, is planned to return in 2021 to Huntington Beach.

“This event would not be the same without the amazing surf, skate and BMX fans who come out to connect and have fun year after year,” Lau said. “We can’t wait to return in 2021 and will be working harder than ever to stage another world-class event at Huntington Beach next summer.”

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Held annually near the Huntington Beach pier since 1959, and known officially as the U.S. Open of Surfing since 1994, the event is considered one of the largest surfing and action sports competitions in the world, with a temporary “village” of sponsor booths and surf shops surrounding the competitions along the beach.

But with the coronavirus crisis continuing to prevent most large gatherings in Southern California, this summer’s edition became the latest sporting event called off for health concerns.

“Our mission is to provide an authentic action sports community experience at the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing,” said Carly Gomez, VP of Marketing, Americas at Vans. “It’s a unique environment that showcases our incredible network of athletes, artists and brand collaborators who all represent creativity. We look forward to bringing the evolution of this event to life in 2021 when the event returns to Huntington Beach.”


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