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U.S. Open of Surfing returns to H.B. this weekend

The nine-day event kicks off on Saturday and is expected to draw 500,000 spectators.

BY CASEY GOMEZPublished: July 26, 2010 09:07 AM

The U.S. Open of Surfing will return to Huntington Beach on Saturday, bringing with it an estimated 500,000 spectators.

Sponsored by Hurley, Nike 6.0 and Converse, the nine-day competition will showcase 500 world-class athletes, including Rob Machado, Kelly Slater and Andy Irons, as well as hometown heroes and reining champions Brett Simpson and Courtney Conlogue. Machado, a three-time U.S. Open champion, says competing at Huntington Beach “feels like you’re surfing in the Super Bowl.

"I think last year was a good example of what the U.S. Open can actually be," Machado said. “Combining waves, the world’s best surfers and that crazy crowd puts competitive surfing on a whole different level.”

Known as the “consumer showcase” of American surfing, the U.S. Open also features the U.S. Open Men’s and Women’s Junior Pro presented by PacSun, Life Rolls on Expression Session and Pacifico Nose Riding Invitational.

Also returning is the second annual WPS All Stars event, which lets the fans choose 10 pro surfers from around the world to compete in the U.S. Open. The event features athlete “meet and greets,” in-water expression sessions and more.

But the U.S. Open isn’t all about the surf. Here are just some of the weeklong festival’s other gnarly events worth checking out:

BMX and Skateboarding
Converse and Nike 6.0 will host elite BMX and skateboarding competitions on the sand just south of the pier. Nike 6.0 HB BMX Pro will feature 25 invited riders, while the Converse Coastal Carnage’s Super Mini-Park event will feature 35 all-star skateboarders and a striking wooden bowl.

Not to be outdone, Hurley will host the Walk the Walk National Championship, a high school fashion competition that’s been described as “Friday Night Lights meets the Runway.” On Aug. 6, the competition’s six national finalists will present their five-minute fashion shows for the grand prize of $25,000.

Spectators can also enjoy an interactive festival featuring more than 100 exhibits, autograph signings, DJs, guest emcees, and prize giveaways.

There will also be free concerts on the beach beginning Aug. 3 from 4 to 7 p.m. Cold War Kids kick it off, and over a span of five days, heavy hitters such as Weezer, Cobra Starship, Hot Hot Heat, and Switchfoot will also perform on the sand of Huntington. Street Drum Corps, The Soft Pack, Bedouin Soundclash, Iration, and Timmy Curran round out the lineup.

“This is the strongest music lineup to play alongside competitive surfing in Huntington Beach in 50-plus years,” said Sandy Bodecker, vice president of Action Sports, Nike. “It should be a great experience for fans to end a full day of competition with music of this caliber – all on the beach.”

Open to the public and free-of-charge, the U.S. Open of Surfing begins on Saturday and runs through Aug. 8.  For a live webcast, event details and information, visit usopenofsurfing.com.

Stay tuned for continued coverage of the event on ocmetro.com.

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