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Greatest Sporting Event in North America

July 28, 2012

US Open of Surfing

The Greatest Sporting Event in North America - the 2012 US Open of Surfing - returns to Huntington Beach this week. If you didn't know that the US Open of Surfing was the Greatest Sporting Event in North America, you're not alone. However, all it takes is one visit to Huntington Beach between the last weekend of July and the first weekend of August (the span of the event), in particularly for the finals, and you'll be heralding its praises as I am here, even if you've never stepped a slippery foot on a waxed epoxy surface.

You see, the fact that surfing is a part of my lifestyle has nothing to do with my affection for this event. In fact, I'm not so sure SURFING has much to do with this event. OK, perhaps I'm being a little harsh in that second statement. Yes, there is some world class surfing by some of the world's best surfers going on at the Nike US Open of Surfing, but you can easily be on the beach in the event "village" for an entire weekend and completely forget to look out into the pacific to see wetsuit and contest singlet clad pros ripping the rippling beach break surrounding the HB Pier, much less hear the announcers commentating the event or witnessing acceptance speeches on the ocean front podium.

 US Open of Surfing

The distractions I refer to don't even involve the multitude of other action sporting displays taking place at the US Open such at the Converse Coastal Carnage skate comp, BMX and motocross exhibitions, parachuting arrivals of sponsored athletes, and whatever progressively insane Hurley brand stunt is pulling off (usually involving a jump off the pier) as each event progresses through the decade. There is so much more going on at the US Open that it almost defies description, but I'll try.

The village created on the beach spans a large portion of Huntington Beach's Pacific Coast Highway ocean view. The sand is compacted by massive tents, stadium seating, retail construction and kiosks, inflatable brand sponsored monstrosities (in a fun way), Titantrons, and planks placed everywhere to guide the over half a million spectators that converge on Huntington Beach throughout the week through the gauntlet of promotional activities. There are fashions shows, product demos, and a FREE live concert series with big name bands playing throughout the event. If you like SWAG (free stuff) then the US Open of Surfing is also for you. You can enter the village empty handed and walk out of there at day's end, bags in hand and looking like you just completed a shopping spree at Fashion Island, without the credit card debt.

US Open of Surfing Nike MotelUS Open of Surfing Promo Teams

There are spray-on tattoos and stickers on the bodies of everyone around you with an even greater number of real tattoos displayed on coconut oiled biceps, triceps, pecs, breasts, butts, backs and thighs. The US Open of Surfing is a feast for the eyes for guys and gals. But it's also a family affair as evidenced by kids perched on the weighted shoulders of dads, clutching on tight and enjoying a bird's eye view of the summertime spectacle while moms wonder why the hell they thought navigating a beach stroller through sand packed by thousands of flip flopped soles and souls would be possible.

US Open of Surfing Pier Crowd

The madness spills out across Pacific Coast Highway as the patient HBPD directs traffic to protect spectators dodging in and out of Main Street shops to nab US Open of Surfing gear to get signed by the stars and athletes seated at the tables lined up in front of Huntington Surf & Sport and Jack's Surfboards. There are equally long lines awaiting those looking for a bite to eat so arrive at the Sugar Shack Cafe around 6 AM to get your fuel for the day, otherwise you'll have to live off of the free Red Bull or RockStars being handed out on every corner until the sun sets and you get your name on the list at Fred's Mexican Cantina for dinner. The night sees Main Street packed until around 2AM so even if you and your party can't make it into Sharkeez or one of the other local watering holes, the bustling strip will keep your need for socializing and hookup hunting satiated.

US Open of Surfing Village

If you're still not sold on attending the US Open of Surfing, then good, there's barely a square foot of sand available for another pair of sandy toes anyways. Maybe next year. ;)

US Open of Surfing Kelly Slater Catching Air

Oh yeah, there's actually surfing at the US Open of Surfing

Wish You Were Here - Marcus Maraih, Editor, YAHglobal.Com

2012 US Open of Surfing: July 28 to August 6

See also Greatest Moments in the US Open of Surfing

post by : Editor - YAH Yaps