Held every summer in sunny Huntington Beach, the Vans US Open is the largest surfing competition in the world. Nearly 500,000 flock to the area for the nine-day event each year to watch and participate in all the festivities the event has to offer.
What first began in 1959 has become a tradition for residents, surfers, and beach-lovers alike, in spite of the fact that the waves Huntington Beach has to offer are not always top notch. It is largely the culture and the love for the sport that makes this part of California such a prime location for the Vans US Open 2015, with some 200 of the world’s best surfers hitting the waves competing for cash prizes of $160,000 collectively.
With such a huge crowd in attendance and so many things going on, it’s important that a certain code of ethics is followed, by attendees and competitors alike. Those at Silverthorne Attorneys not only appreciate surfing, but we also know how important it is to be a good member of society, so we’ve outlined this list of do’s and don’ts to have the best possible experience whether you’re competing, spectating, or are just there for the food.
Do cheer. There’s a ton of excitement and energy at the competition—get into it.
Do welcome out-of-towners, because there will be quite a few! There are usually around half a million people that come to the area for the competition.
Do get there early in the day. The downtown area is sprinkled with parking meters that cost $1.50 per hour for two hours maximum. For those wanting to stay longer, there is an 830-space parking structure located conveniently near the beach.
Do take a shuttle. A free shuttle service takes individuals to and from the downtown area on certain days.
Do support the women of surf. The Vans US Open of Surfing is the sixth stop on the 2015 World Surf League Samsung Galaxy Women’s Championship Tour. The top 17 of the world’s best women surfers competed.
Do score freebies! Win promo gear, eat free hot dogs and sliders, and watch the competition free of charge.
Do enjoy other events. Attendees can also watch world class skateboard and BMX competitions and check out tons of the top-of-the-line and newest gear.
Don’t riot or fight. In 1986 and again in 2013, the Vans US Open surfing competition was the scene of huge riots that included burning cop cars and destroying a lifeguard headquarters in 1986 and tipping port-a-potties and smashing business windows in 2013. Participate in this and chances are you’ll be needing an Orange County personal injury attorney in no time.
Don’t litter. It could cost you as much as $125 for the first offense and $250 for the second.
Don’t walk around intoxicated. Last year, 722 citations were given out in the beach and U.S. Open venue area; 383 of them were alcohol-related. A total of 285 arrests were made during the nine-day event. This year, police and security enforced a no-nonsense policy; 45 people were arrested the first day of the event.
Do get to know the swell. Chances are if you’re competing in the competition, you’ve surfed Huntington before. But in case you don’t know about the waves, check out this cool graphic.
Do check out the other events. As noted above, make sure to check out the Van Doren Invitational which brings the world’s best skateboards and BMX riders to battle it out.
Do honor the Hall of Fame. This year’s ceremony honored international talent like Gordon “Grubby” Clark and James “C.J.” Hobgood.
Do WIN! Men compete for a cash prize of $100,000 and women compete for $60,000.
Don’t talk about sharks. It’s every surfer’s nightmare, and not something that anyone really wants to think about.
Don’t forget to check your surroundings, both in and out of the water. Waves and crowds of spectators can be equally unpredictable. Whatever you do, don’t be this guy.
This year’s Open was packed with tons of action and talent. Plan now to be a part of all that next year’s Vans US Open will have to offer.