Nine Defining Moments Of The 2015 Vans US Open Of Surfing

Small waves, shorebreak cutbacks, and big airs ruled the semis and finals heats at the VANS US Open of Surfing on August 2, 2015 in Huntington Beach, CA.
Johanne Defay! Photo: Benjamin Ginsberg
Huntington Beach isn’t exactly known for bringing out the best in people — unless you think people are at their best when they have mayonnaise from a cheap cheeseburger dripping down their face at 3 AM while the Red Hot Chilli Peppers greatest hits on CD plays in the background inexplicably. But it brought out the best in Johanne Defay. Johanne made it to her first ever WCT final, then she won that final. Napkins not included.

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Filipe Toledo got angry. Photo: Sherm
After winning the event last year, the new US resident really wanted to to go two for two. Then he lost in a close semifinal after a last-minute attempt at a 7.08. The result? Fury.

Small waves, shorebreak cutbacks, and big airs ruled the semis and finals heats at the VANS US Open of Surfing on August 2, 2015 in Huntington Beach, CA.
Then he hugged someone. Photo: Benjamin Ginsberg
In his fury, Fil stormed past Tanner Hendrickson, denying him a post-heat handshake in the process. Upon calming down, Filipe approached Tanner and brought it in for the real thing. Because sportsmanship.

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And Filipe’s dad, Ricardo, looked like he was posing in front of a lifted truck with Turn Down For What playing but really he was just mad at the judges. Photo: Sherm
Yeah.

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Tanner Hendrickson proved himself. Photo: Sherm
Look, I’ve always known that Tanner Hendrickson is a really good surfer — kid used to fuck me up at NSSA Nationals. But now everybody knows that Tanner is a really good surfer because he made it from the trials to the finals, beating everyone you didn’t know he could beat in the process. Those 8,000 points aren’t going to hurt his WQS campaign.

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Jesus fever. Photo: Sherm
Huntington isn’t typically the land of the holy, but this gentlemen didn’t get the memo and did a little bit of preaching anyhow. Apparently, his preaching was heard (or, you know, coincidence). Kolohe Andino posted a Jesus-inspired Instagram in the thick of the weekend. Filipe painted Christian imagery on the bottom of his boards. Somebody turned water into wine, except she was a waitress and she had mistook my order.

Vans US Open_Canavarro_Final Day (22 of 41)Gene Simmons from KISS showed up. Photo: Marcio Canavarro
Bet you can’t find him.

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Helmet fever. Photo: Jake Keller
Sally Fitzgibbons donned one all event (ear injury, Fiji). It brought her all the way to the final and now helmet fever has taken the world by storm. You can’t run from it. You can’t hide from it. All you can do is strap up.

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You committed Hiroto Ohara’s name to memory. Photo: Catherine Gregory
Because he won the whole thing. You also decided to remember that he’s 18 and from Japan. And that he’ll surf in the Hurley Lowers Pro because he won the trials the other week. Keep on surfing, Hiroto. We’ll be listening.