The circus is in town…
Its home to some of the biggest surf companies, ridable waves almost 365 days a year, and the biggest surf contest in the world, The Vans US Open. Thats right all you 909’ers, 310’s, 424’ers, 808’ers, our homies the 805’ers, and every other area code in the states since “no one is from LA”, its time to descend upon the 714 because the circus is in town! Kicking off tomorrow, Monday the 27th at 7:30 am, the week long party centered around surf and skate has never let us down for a good time. But an interesting point that the OC Register has brought up is if its the biggest surf contest, why is it held in Huntington which rarely gets “world class” waves?
Huntington Beach isn’t the best surf spot in the world.
It can be fickle, and great summer swells are rare. Though it always has waves, of some sort, Huntington is no Banzai Pipeline, the break on the north shore of Oahu where bombing, hollow waves consistently provide the world’s best surfers a venue to show their stuff.
Still, Huntington Beach – not Pipeline – is about to host the world’s biggest surf contest, the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing.
Saturday through Aug. 2, a half-million people or more figure to hit town to watch the pros and take in the huge, surf-theme party. Many big surf brands – and others not associated with surf at all – will have some kind of presence. And, in the water, some 200 of the world’s best surfers will compete for big bucks, with the top men’s prize going for $100,000, women at $60,000.
Bill Seitz will watch it all.
He’s a surfer from Newport Beach. But, more important, Seitz is a judge of professional surf contests, one of the people who watches the surfers, rates their moves and totes up scores.
True. Waves here are constant, even if those waves show up as dribbly 2-footers, sometimes forcing surfers to pump their way to the shore, an ungraceful maneuver known as the “Huntington Hop.”
This year’s forecast for the first few days of the U.S. Open is typical summertime Huntington: 2- to 4-foot waves.
There have been exceptions.
In 2009, a massive swell showed up for the contest, bringing waves over 10 feet and requiring surfers to be pulled out by a personal watercraft. That year, 11-time world champ Kelly Slater rode a rare, perfect-10 barrel. And Santa Ana’s Courtney Conlogue shot the pier, barely missing the concrete pilings and eventually winning the event.
“I thought she was going to die, she was so close to those pilings,” Seitz said.
“That wave was huge, massive.”
But most of the time, summertime Huntington can be tough for the pros.
“It’s not an easy wave to surf well. Some people are just really good at it. The guys who live here surf it amazing. And of course they would; it’s their home spot,” Seitz said.
But the non-locals?
Check out OC Register for the full story
Photo cred: Michael Goulding