The US Open of Surfing happens in Huntington Beach every year at the end of the summer. It is a free event that lasts the better part of a week and basically goes for eight hours each day. As the week goes on, the competition gets busier, culminating in the finals which happen on the second weekend.
US Open 2019
I try to go when I get the chance for at least a half-day as it is always a lot of fun to walk around and look at the shops, as well as enjoy the surfing and skateboarding. If you want to visit, here is some information, and you can read on for other recaps from previous years.
For parking, there is a large lot next to the city beach. Plan $15 for parking and plan to get there early as it fills up on the weekends.
Once you park, you can walk along the beach and see all of the vendors and events they have on the sand, which are free to visit. Often they even have skateboarding events in this area as well. Once you have walked through the shops, be sure to stop and see the sandcastle, each year it is different, and this year it was a caterpillar.
For surfing, all you have to do is find a spot on the pier or in the sand as the action happens on the waves out in front of you. They have projectors set up you can watch, but you might also want to bring binoculars for an up-close view. All in all, it is a lot of fun and something I enjoy going to when I can. If you want to read my recap from a previous year, you can do so below and be sure to check it out if you get a chance.
US Open 2011
This past weekend I had the opportunity to head down to Huntington Beach to watch the Nike US Open of Surfing Semi-Finals. This is only the second time that I have made my way down there, and sometimes I forget that it is only 45 minutes from my house. It is a great time where they have pros in the morning, amateurs in the afternoon, and noseriding in the middle. Make sure if you plan to go next year that you get there early as the parking lot was full before nine and believe me when I say it gets packed.
In the morning, the pros were treated to pretty decent sets of 3 to 5-foot waves, and everyone from Kelly Slater to Dusty Payne were throwing down nice rides. Make sure you check out the highlights from Kelly Slaters last ride, it was a thing of beauty.
One of my favorite parts about the event is that the surfers waited under the pier for their chance to surf. It was pretty amazing seeing them paddle out through the small amount room they have and the rushing waves under the pier.
After the pros, we watched the nose riding competition, which was a set of older surfers all trying to walk to the front of their boards while riding a wave. This was a pretty amazing feat, as it is difficult enough to surf without having to walk on the board as well. It’s hard to tell, but the photo below shows the surfer standing on the edge of his board while riding, hanging ten.
After watching the competition, we took in the rest of the sights, which included the Nike shop, lots of vendors selling their stuff, giving out samples and sandcastles.
That evening the indie band MGMT played a free concert and if you thought the beach was packed before it amplified by 10 for the concert. We made the mistake of walking down to check it out, but there was literally nowhere to stand.
I have also never seen so many bikes in my life as was at the US Open of Surfing so at least the crowds were being environmentally friendly, and many shops would rent you a bike if you forgot yours at home. All in all, this was a great day full of lots of fun and free things to do. I would highly recommend heading to the US Open next year when it comes back again, but remember it will be busy. Check out the sunset at the end of the day below. Make sure to leave and comment and let me know if you were able to make it out there as well.