By Phil Bannan
Photos by Jimmicane
It’s that time of year again — time for coast dwellers to take cover as the entire surf industry and Western US population invade Huntington Beach for the US Open of Surfing (beginning Saturday, July 31). Here’s a brief rundown:
Remember Last Year?
Backed by Nike’s bottomless checkbook, Hurley, Converse and Nike 6.0 are gearing up for a repeat of 2009’s weeklong event success story, when with a backdrop of 10-foot south swell and a crowd of 500,000, homeboy Brett Simpson won $100thou for the Mens title.
ASP Men’s Prime Event
The world’s best will be battling it out for the $250,000 purse, $100,000 1st place prize and the priceless 6,500 ASP ratings points. Thanks to the new ASP World Ranking system, a win at the US Open means as many points as a third-place finish in a World Title event — like, say, the Pipe Masters. This stuff is nothing to sneeze at. Predictable standouts include Jordy Smith, Taj Burrow, Dane Reynolds, Julian Wilson, Andy Irons, Mick Fanning, CJ Hobgood, Rob Machado, defending champ Brett Simpson and Kelly Slater, who has entered but not confirmed his attendance — same usual last-minute shenanigans.
Women’s 6-Star Event
The $60,000 purse and $20,000 1st place prize will see 12 of the top 16 women in the world battling it out against young guns Courtney Conlogue, Sage Erickson, Lakey Peterson and many others.
WPS All-Stars Event
The pubic has decided, for the second year in a row, the top ten surfers we want to watch compete in the WPS All-Star competition. The results: Dane, Kelly, Julian, Clay, Jordy and Taj — just to name a few — will be taking to the HB lineup via Jet Ski assist for ultimate bragging rights.
Live Music Performances
Cold War Kids, Bedouin Soundclash, Switchfoot, Timmy Curran, Cobra Starship and Weezer are among the acts.
Skate and BMX Events
The Converse Coastal Carnage will one-up last year’s event with a crew of heavy hitters, big prize money and the best beachside mini-bowl in the world. Be sure to stop by the skate park to check out the action on your way to the surf.
Whether you head for high ground or decide to join the masses, the invasion is coming. For more on the US Open of Surfing and its schedule of events, check out usopenofsurfing.com.