Twice is Nice: Brett Simpson Repeats at the US Open

posted by / News / August 9, 2010

Brett Simpson surfed smart and used his local knowledge to his advantage through every heat.Local boy lays more bricks in the construction of his HB surfing empire

Photos by Jimmicane

The US Open is sensory overload. Two-story scaffoldings hover above you featuring the face of their brands. Kolohe Andino was larger than life. He must have been riding at least an 11’4”. Airplanes are whizzing around overhead – their brand message prominently displayed to woo an unassuming victim. Preachers are preaching. Marijuana advocates were – well, happppppy. Cars were gridlocked. And the sea of humans on the sand were awestruck by every attempted maneuver from local boy Brett Simpson. The will of the people weren’t going to have it any other way. Brett had already won the contest weeks before it had started.

Featured in every news publication in Southern California in the weeks leading up to the US Open, Brett Simpson was touted as the man to beat. Local support, natural ability, and thousands of hours put in at the Southside of the Pier was everything Brett needed to double down on his stellar performance last year.

The morning of the final day started off slow. A long period and weakening South swell resulted in very inconsistent scoring waves. This gave the peanut gallery in the VIP area the time needed to discuss and evaluate every move – watch multiple replays and score the heat as if we were top-tier judges. Often, we were spot on. Maybe we have a future on the judging panel. Probably not.

In the first semi final – Jordy Smith vs. Mick Fanning – Jordy got to work early while Mick Fanning patiently waited. Jordy rode smaller waves with ease. With Jordy as a leading example, we’ve had to throw out the preconception that smaller humans = better small wave surfers. Jordy advances. Could he make it three ASP wins in a row?

Last month in J Bay, Kelly Slater lost to local wildcard Sean Holmes by a mere .04 points. This month at the US Open, he loses to local phenom Brett Simpson by .04. Mental strength will be tested.

In the second semi final – Kelly Slater vs. Brett Simpson – the heat started off with a split of the peak. Kelly going right and Brett left. Brett gets the better of the exchange, a 6.5 on a steeper left hander. Kelly a 5.5. Brett Simpson retains priority and secures another quality score of a 6.87, much to the escalating excitement of the crowd. Kelly follows up with one of the biggest waves of the heat and completes it in the inside shore break with a backside 360 floating reentry. At least that’s what Rockin’ Fig on the mic called it. Kelly comes up just short. Again.

The Mens Pro Junior is up next. It’s a USA vs Brazil battle – Evan Geiselman and Kolohe Andino representing the red, white and blue while Alejo Muniz and Miguel Pupo the green and yellow. Evan opens his final with an 8.0 displaying his mastery of aerials and technical surfing. Alejo makes a run for the title but comes up just short. Evan Geiselman is the Pro Junior Champion.

The Mens final was a different story. Brett Simpson flowed effortlessly through Huntington Beach’s flat spots and warbles, while Jordy Smith had trouble putting together a complete wave. After the commencing of the final, Brett was mobbed in knee deep water by friends, family, fans, and security guards. Hoisted onto their shoulders, Brett looked like he was at a concert crowd surfing back to the stage. He thanked everybody for their support. He noted this just might be the confidence boost he needed to help him get in a requalifying position for the mid-year cut off on the World Tour. He’s stoked. He lived up to the crowds expectations. He’s $100,000 richer.

Kelly Slater performed well all week, just coming up short to Brett Simpson in the semi finals.

Kelly Slater performed well all week, just coming up short to Brett Simpson in the semi finals.

A Karate kid moment. Sensei Dane Reynolds teaches Kolohe Andino: wax the board.

A Karate kid moment. Sensei Dane Reynolds teaches Kolohe Andino: wax the board.

Taj Burrow and Julian Wilson prepare for the expression session

Taj Burrow and Julian Wilson prepare for the expression session

Dane Reynolds frontside slob grab.  Distinction made possible by Jimmicane.

Dane Reynolds frontside slob grab. Distinction made possible by Jimmicane.

Taj Burrow during the expression session

Taj Burrow during the expression session

Kelly Slater moments after a close loss.

Kelly Slater moments after a close loss

Jimmicane's angle.

I didn't know how to caption this photo

Pro-Marijuan advocates lined main street and PCH.

Pro-Marijuana advocates lined main street and PCH.

Coco and Laura curtsy.

Coco Ho and Laura Enever curtsy.

You've officially seen it all when you've been to Huntington Beach during the US Open

You've officially seen it all when you've been to Huntington Beach during the US Open

Playing to his strengths, Evan Geiselman's progressive approach paid off in the end

Playing to his strengths, Evan Geiselman's progressive approach paid off in the end

One of Evan Geiselman's biggest wins of his career.

One of Evan Geiselman's biggest wins of his career.

During the final, Jordy Smith almost pulled this backside air reverse. Had he stuck this maneuver, the outcome could have been completely different

During the final, Jordy Smith almost pulled this backside air reverse. Had he stuck this maneuver, the outcome could have been completely different

Triumphant. Brett Simpson does his best Richard Nixon impression.

Triumphant. Brett Simpson does his best Nixon impression.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Related Posts:


  • Ray

    When are you going to start including Jadson Andre in your coverage? I guess he’s just an afterthought.

  • al-bot

    Jadson is an afterthought because he surfs like an aggro robot. They should start deducting points for douchebaggery like his judge call-outs. I keep waiting for him to charge the judging panel weilding his board like a viking with a sword.

  • The One Son

    That had to be the worst final ever at the US Open!

  • EB&D

    I wasn’t watching the webcast because I lead a life but I heard Kelly got kinda robbed…and Brett is Mr. Hurley and Mr. Huntington Beach California Kid…and coincidences are what they tell you so you’ll stay ignorant…

  • Portland – Surf City

    Thanks to everyone for the support! We bought the city and we bought the judges and the winners. Surf City is now officially changing their name to Hurleyngton Beach – Nike Town, CA. We’re coming after the North Shore. We don’t care about the community or the retailer, we’ll just pay them off.
    Danke and Heil Nike

  • Westside

    ALL WINNERS were TEAMRIDERS, men , women, jr pro. Rumor has it they get to deduct the winnings from their yearly contracts…….

  • Danny

    Are we judging surfing or character?

    “deducting points for douchebaggery… I keep waiting for him to charge the judging panel weilding his board like a viking with a sword”. Well I guess your wish was granted my friend.
    In that line of thought Sunny Garcia and Andy Irons should never been world champions. As they used to hassle judges and fellow competitors.

    If Dane was doing the airs of Jadson and Miguel Puppo everybody would be talking about Dane’s performance as a standout in progressive surfing competition.

    That’s why Ray, Jadson don’t get mention. A lot of people still has the mentality of al-bot when it comes to brazilians.

  • mg

    smell that home cookin !!!

  • EB&D

    @Westside I heard flying saucers abducted Oprah and that Obama is a terrorist and that Elvis is still alive in Barbados.

    If you think Evan and Carissa didn’t deserve to win you must have been watching a different contest. However, I don’t know whether you can put anything past Nike…

  • Jackson

    Nike is from Beaverton not Portland. Getcha shit straight

  • Rex

    Is that true about their contracts? That doesn’t really make sense — Nik-ley (Hurlke?) has dump trucks of $$ so why would they shortchange their athletes? Pretty soon they’ll all be riding for Red Bull Clothing anyway.

  • James

    “Is that true about their contracts? That doesn’t really make sense — Nik-ley (Hurlke?) has dump trucks of $$ so why would they shortchange their athletes? Pretty soon they’ll all be riding for Red Bull Clothing anyway.”

    I wondered this after Brett won LAST year too. Is there something amiss? I can’t believe this would actually happen. Probably hearsay.

  • Travis A

    I reckon Kelly got ripped off again. Losing two straight comps in a row by such small margins? WTF Write a bullshit piece on that.

  • Travis A

    And Jadson’s maneuvers were impressive. He’s probably has one of the highest attempt/make ratios for those big air reverses. It’s just everything in between that isn’t very pleasing. Flailing, hippidy hoppidy, red bulled out surfing is almost as bad as those shake weight commercials.

  • HB Dude

    I’ ve been there live and the finale was really lame. Brett did not perform well but played it save. Jordy always tried to get some righthanders, still wondering why, since they were crappy throughout the entire event. I cross my fingers that next year there will be some swell so that we do not need to see the 2turnsontheoutside-pumpingtotheinside-finishingwithalamemove standard procedure again. Anyway the weather was fine and you got to see a lot of top surfers. Keep on surfing HB!

  • Tooter

    Jimbro, need to break out your 600 for the surf photo’s …….. or go up on the pier

  • BK

    “Suka-da-Hotch” !

  • denise

    horrible final… the brazilians were had …if it were a real surf competition w/out ll the b.s ….brett would have probably lost to john john or coco

  • Ray

    In this last event, the Brazilians were discriminated against not only by the judges, but much of the surf media: few photos or credit given to them. It’s not news, but just part of a bigger problem. I feel sympathy towards Heitor, Adriano, Miguel, and Jadson. The industry provides little coverage with clear bias to dinosaurs like Taylor Knox. These guys learn English, work their asses off and their are treated like illegal aliens. Allow to them assimilate!!!

  • BK

    should have read “Sukka-da-Hotch” – blow me !

    I agree with Brazils’ showing should have been winners. Bob Hurley may get a rebate if BS and him are in cahoots?

  • Danny

    It’s bizarre, Pat O’connell, Barton L. and all the other guys on the comment were totally impressed with the brazilian surfing of Jadson and cia.
    But after all it’s said and done most of american and australian press/people don’t want to talk about it.
    They prefer to say how amazing was (and it was) Dane’s lone air reverse. But all Jadson and Miguel’s airs and progressive maneuvers in arguably surfing biggest stage went all under the carpet.
    Keep it up the “good work” people like al-bot and cia. with their lame excuses about personality and stuff!

  • Danny

    If this competition people really wanted to see some progressive surfing they would not think about where people come from. They would like to see Jadson and MIguel on the final. People say the waver were terrible in the finals. I would love to see in that conditions what Miguel and Jadson would to it.

  • James

    Do Brazilians really have bad style or do they just suffer from racism? This is a question nobody has really answered definitively or even approached as a formal query.

    Circumstantial evidence suggests: both.

  • Rob C

    Haha. Jimmicane’s angle of Dane Reynolds’ ass answers any questions we may have had.

  • Alex K.

    I don’t honestly think Brett was the best surfer out there, and his heat to Kelly was very hard to call…but Brett is a good story to win and seems genuinely nice. Good for him.

  • Bee

    Alejo outsurfed Evan and wouda won if not for the interference which again was suspect. Jadson beat Mick.
    Nike, Hurley couldn’t capitalise media wise on a brazilian win. They get more bang for their buck with an american win and even bigger bang having their team riders win. Which eventually happened.