Get ready for the circus! The Vans US Open of Surfing 2013 kicks off July 20th in Huntington Beach, a short walk across the street from Jack’s Surfboards on Main St. The Vans US Open of Surfing is the world’s largest surfing competition and grows bigger every year. The week-long festival combines surfing, skateboarding, BMX, and free concerts, featuring Modest Mouse, The Faint and Matt Costa.
The first US Open of Surfing competition was held in Surf City back in 1959, today The Open is an ASP World Tour prime event, celebrated alongside an epic festival on the beach. For surfers, competing in the The Open is a career milestone and taking the title is a huge win for both the men’s and women’s professional tours. Past Open champions include Tom Curren, Occy, Kelly Slater, Andy Irons, Rob Machado, CJ Hobgood, Linda Benson, Joyce Hoffman and Carissa Moore.
The top surfers in the world will compete south of Huntington Beach Pier, running the men’s and women’s ASP Prime main events, junior competitions and Joel Tudor’s Duct Tape Tour longboarding competition. Contestants of the men’s main event include Kelly Slater, Adriano De Souza, Josh Kerr and Yadin Nicol.
Defending US Open title holder Julian Wilson currently sits ninth on the world tour. Wilson finished fifth at the Oakley Pro Bali, falling to Nat Young in the quarterfinals. Another surfer to watch is Huntington Beach local Brett Simpson, who has two Open titles but claims the pressure isn’t on to win a third.
“I really don’t see it as pressure, but more as excitement,” Simpson said. “I always have nerves going into every event and every heat but that’s what keeps me coming back every time! The cool part is knowing that I have done it before, so that gives me some nice confidence. I will try to look back and remember those feelings and bring them along for the ride into this US Open!”
The Open is the only ASP Prime rated event in Mainland America for 2013, and every California surfer competing in the event is hungry for a win at home
“For us competing in the US Open has been an honor,” Tanner Gudauskas of San Clemente said. “It was something that we [brothers Pat and Dane] would always ask our parents to take us to when we were kids just so we could get autographs and see our favorite surfers in real life. So to me it would be a huge deal to do well. The circus that surrounds the event just seems to heighten the surfing and pushes the level. I’ve always had a blast when competing in the event and had a couple really special moments competitively here!”
Both Tanner Gudauskas and Conner Coffin are US Open Pro Junior champions. This will be Coffin’s first year competing in the men’s main event as a wildcard.
Another Santa Barbara surfer hunting for The Open title is Lakey Peterson in the women’s event. Peterson won the women’s US Open title in 2012 and finished runner-up at the Open in 2011. She currently sits 6th on the Women’s World Championship Tour.
The last women’s world tour event was back in May, after the Roxy Pro Biarritz was canceled then rescheduled due to lack of swell. Tyler Wright won the last event in Brazil and is currently leading the women’s world tour in front of Carissa Moore and Sally Fitzgibbons.
Watch hot young talent surf the pier in the juniors competition; the Junior Women’s final will be held Saturday July 27th at 2:45 pm with the Junior Men’s final directly after at 3:15 pm.
The top longboarders in the world will compete in Joel Tudor’s Duct Tape Invitational presented by Pacifico, which runs at high noon on Saturday July27th. Contestants include Alex Knost, Tyler Warren, Ryan Burch and Harrison Roach- no leashes, just logs.
Catch some surf culture at The Strand Shorebreak hotel located on 5th Street where Joel Tudor’s documentary premiere will be held Saturday July 27th from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Other happenings include the induction ceremony for the Surfing Walk of Fame and Surfers’ Hall of Fame on located on Main St.
Overwhelmed by all of the activities to come? We’ll help you get ready with US Open of Surfing official shirts, tanks and hats. Get ‘em before you go on the Jack’s Surfboard website.
If you can’t make the event you can watch the action live at vansusopenofsurfing.com.