Event: Vans US Open of Surfing, women's Championship Tour Stop No. 6 (of 11)
Event Window July 31 - August 6, 2017
Location Huntington Beach, California, USA
ATTITUDE: Electric. The US Open of Surfing draws thousands of people to downtown Huntington Beach and everywhere from the pier to the parking lot is standing-room only. Along with the surfing, the Open includes competition theater for BMX and skate, along with dozens of vendors and product demos packed on the sand -- all of which transforms the beach into one of pro surfing's biggest parties.
THE WAVE: The beachbreak south of the Huntington Beach pier can be a tricky beast. It can start off steep on the outside and quickly back off before reforming closer to shore. The effect forces surfers to perfect the so-called Huntington Hop, an aggressive pumping maneuver to connect to the inside section. Still, the challenge is part of the fun and the fast, punchy wave can inspire creative maneuvers. Plus, the Surfline forecast for next week is -- wait for it -- stellar, which should only up the ante on performance.
APRÈS-SURF: Downtown Huntington Beach is a bar-hopper's dream, and a hungry surfer's delight. If you work up an appetite taking in the action, head to Main Street. The main drag of HB's downtown, it runs perpendicular from the beach, packs in dozens of restaurants, pubs and coffee shops, as well as boutiques and surf shops stocked with everything a fan could want. During the US Open, the jam-packed thoroughfare gets shut down to traffic, and fans can attend athlete signings, movie premieres and other industry-related events throughout the week.
WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP TOUR HISTORY: Surf city has hosted elite women's competitions since the early '90s but has had a special spot on the Championship Tour (CT) over the past seven years. Stop No. 6 is just past the halfway point in the CT season, and marks the beginning of the U.S. leg of the Tour for the women (they'll head next to Trestles, in September). When the women's CT was in its denouement, HB was the season closer. But since 2013, as the women's CT has been built back up, it's become more of a momentum-builder (or -staller) in terms of the Title race, and it offers local fans relatively easy access to see their favorite surfers in person.
Catch the Vans US Open of Surfing live daily on the WSL website and app from July 31 to August 6.