Countdown to the 2013 Vans US Open of Surfing

US Open of Surfing

Counting down to the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing July 20 – 28 in Huntington Beach when an estimated one million sun, surf, and skate fans will descend upon Huntington Beach during the nine day run. The US Open of Surfing is the world’s largest festival and surf contest and has become a must-attend event in action sports and youth culture.

Vans US Open of Surfing 2013

Three days before Friday’s first heat, a city of fluttering white tents and gargantuan steel erector set stadium seating rises from Huntington’s expansive golden playground like a twenty-first century Roman Coliseum. Normally serene vistas of the Pacific are disrupted by massive storage units and piles of lumber and steel and like a summer blockbuster movie Caterpillars maneuver amid flatbed trailers, trucks, and  vans as children build sand castles and bronzed bodies frolic in the waves.

US Open of Surfing

In February, Orange County-based Vans announced that they would step in as sponsor of the biggest surf event in the world, which had been in the hands of Nike and Costa Mesa-based Hurley since 2009. In a sense Van’s is returning to their surfing roots at the Huntington Beach Pier. “It all started off here in Southern California,” said Steve Van Doren, son of founder Paul, in an Orange County Register article. “The action sports; that’s where our roots are – the surfers and skaters, they adopted us.

Vans US Open of Surfing

 This year’s lineup includes eleven-time world champion Kelly Slater who will compete against defending U.S. Open champion Julian Wilson, of Australia, and Orange County locals Brett Simpson and Kolohe Andino. Simpson, a Huntington Beach local, won the US Open in 2009 and 2010. Nate Yeomans and Patrick Gudauskus, of San Clemente local will also compete in the US Open. The list of competitors includes 30 men pro surfers and 19 women pros. For the women, local favorite Courtney Conlogue, originally from Santa Ana, will compete against the defending 2013 world champion, Lakey Peterson of Santa Barbara.

Cement Bowl at the Vans US Open 2013

But not all the action is going to be in the water, and we’re not talking about the parade of scantily clad bronzed and buffed bods, Vans has announced the debut of the Van Doren Invitational, an invite-only bowl riding competition featuring 40 of the world’s best skateboarders, including Pedro Barros – Vans’ own bowl-riding phenom.  The cement bowl being constructed on the sand in Huntington Beach by California Skateparks draws inspiration from the design of the legendary Skatepark du Prado bowl on the beach in Marseilles, France. {Source: OC Weekly}

I was granted permission to the construction area and scaled the industrial-grade steel steps surrounding the cement bowl that will see some of the world’s best skateboarders in action. Crews have been working feverishly since last week and it’s amazing to see the beach area north and south of the pier transformed into a mini metropolis that will soon be swarming with surf and skate enthusiasts from all corners of the world. Let the festival begin!

Friday I’ll be bringing you “How to Eat Like a Local” with recs on the best eats in Huntington Beach :)

Downtown HB is an awesome place to live – have fun, drink responsibly, and please help us keep our beaches clean.

Vans US Open of Surfing




6 Responses to “Countdown to the 2013 Vans US Open of Surfing”

  1. Cathy Pollak ~ Noble Pig July 18 at 7:07 am #

    I love your blog Priscilla, I feel like I’m reliving my 35 years living in the OC. I grew up on HB beach…sigh.

    • Priscilla July 18 at 10:55 am #

      Thank you, Cathy! I make you yearn for home and reading your blog makes me want to move to Oregon :) We’ll have to do a house swap some day!

  2. Lonely Sherpa July 19 at 5:01 pm #

    Great images,looks like it is going to be an amazing weekend. Do you know though if there is a cash prize for the winner or is it just points towards the asp?

    • Priscilla July 19 at 8:26 pm #

      Thank you! It is a phenomenal event – the grand prize for the surf competition is $100,000.

      • Lonely Sherpa July 20 at 2:49 am #

        Can’t wait to watch it on the live web camera, what a thoughtful idea from Vans. I thought it was a 100 G’s but wasn’t sure if that was for the entire asp tour or just the US open.

        A big difference between $100,000 for the men and $15,000 for the women in that case.

        • Priscilla July 26 at 10:57 am #

          I’m watching the live cam now – you don’t get the atmosphere of being here, but in a lot of ways it’s a better way to watch – amazing close up view of the rides! And, yes, big difference between the men and women – hopefully that gap will get smaller in the years ahead.

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