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Huntington Beach preps for U.S. Open of Surfing

The weeklong competition brings a myriad of events showcasing the summer’s hottest sports, fashion, art and music.

By Caitlin AdamsPublished: June 23, 2011 12:22 PM

Huntington Beach officials are ramping up for the annual U.S. Open of Surfing, which will take over a 14-acre stretch of sand near the pier during the first week of August.

More than 500,000 attendees are expected to turn out for what is hailed as the world’s largest surfing competition, and contenders from all over the globe will hit the waves to vie for a total of $460,000 in prize money. The contest is also an important stop on the Association of Surfing Professionals World Tour; the men’s competition will feature a North America ASP Prime event, allowing participants to rack up valuable points right before the ASP Top 34 ranking rotation.

For women surfers, the competition will host the final event of the 2011 ASP World Title Tour. And, spectators could see the ASP women’s world champion crowned this summer. One hopeful challenger is Hawaii’s Carissa Moore.

“I’m really excited to be returning to Huntington Beach to try to defend my U.S. Open title,” Moore said. “It’s so fun to be competing in front of so many people!”

In addition to the prestigious high-stakes men’s and women’s divisions, the week will also include four Pro Junior events, as well as the Pacifico Nose Riding Invitational, always a crowd-pleaser.

However, the U.S. Open isn’t just for surfers; the entertainment and action goes on all week. Up on the sand, Converse Coastal Carnage will host a crew of trick riders and top talent skating at a state-of-the-art beach bowl, and the Nike 6.0 HB BMX Pro riders are not to be missed. On Aug. 4, five of the nation's top high schools will compete for $25,000 at the Hurley Walk the Walk National Championship, described as the ultimate youth fashion competition. The U.S. Open Music Stage will host a lineup of bands to keep the energy high all week long.

"It's hard to match the experience of the world's best in sports, music and art coming together on the beach in one of action sports' most iconic locations," said Sandy Bodecker, VP of Nike Action Sports, one of the main sponsors of the event. "Our commitment this year is to bring the energy from Huntington Beach to even more fans across the world.”

The U.S. Open of Surfing will also bring with it more than 100 interactive exhibits, autograph signings, DJs and giveaways, as well as other exclusive retail and brand experiences, and special events. The festival runs from July 30 to Aug. 7.