Monday, August 8, 2011

the u.s. open of surfing 2011! huntington beach, ca

U.S. Open of Surfing 2011

Summer Halftime is over and I hit my favorite 10 miles of coast I've had the pleasure of exploring during my time here in California.  Huntington and Newport Beaches have run away with my heart the past few months and I can see why they are such World Famous locations.  I run into people from all across the globe during the many days I spend here, all trying to soak up the SoCal Sun and relax with that easy flow that is California!

During a routine Saturday trip to Newport Beach (about 10 miles south of Huntington Beach) I was cruising down Pacific Coast Highway (PHC) and passed by a massive crowd of people in the streets and spilling over onto the beaches.  It was then that I noticed the grandstands and posters everywhere "U.S. Open of Surfing 2011"  I was about to make an immediate change in plans, save Newport for another day, and hit this once in a lifetime opportunity to watch the greatest surfers, skaters and bmx'ers compete for their paychecks!

U.S. Open of Surfing 2011
Unfortunately parking was a complete joke!  It was Saturday around 2pm and I guestimated to actually find parking within 5 miles I would have needed to show up around 10am.  Luckily, the competition continued thru Sunday, when the finals for each event were to be held!  I continued onto Newport for the day and promised a return to Huntington for The U.S. Open of Surfing on Sunday.  Let these photo's be proof enough that yes, indeed I woke up at 7am, rolled out of my studio in downtown LA and managed to find parking beachside at Huntington at 10am Sunday Morning!  The place was packed!  People crowded every inch of the beach surrounding the competitions.  The theme for the day was, "you better not be wearin a shirt and you definitely better not be wearin shoe's, shoebbie!".

Hangin' 10!
The competitors satisfied their on-lookers and put on quite a show.  I was able to grab some spectacular shots of some of the worlds best surfers, as well as the worlds best longboard surfers.  Both incredible!  I learned that ""hangin' 10" is when a surfer positions the back of their board under the wave behind them, making it so they are able to walk about the rest of the board freely and hang all 10 toes over the front of their board!  This is a specialty of the longboarders.  
Yes!  Hangin' 10 backwards!
Some famous faces that made an appearance at this years U.S. Open of Surfing you ask?  Tony Hawk, world famous Skateboarder and Kelly Slater, a 10 time World Surfing Champion!  I got to see both performing their arts, Tony Skating and Kelly Surfing.  It was an incredible experience to see the guys you grew up watching on ESPN right in front of you, but hey, that's just another day in SoCal to everyone here!

tony hawk
tony hawk
kelly slater
kelly slater

This was an experience I will remember the rest of my days.  The sun...the sand...the smiles...the amazing professional athletes and beautiful california girls...the entire day was surreal and I hope to come back again next year, even more prepared with some good friends and an ice cold cooler.

Thanks for reading!

- j

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