This past weekend, I found myself in the heart of beautiful Huntington Beach, California for the Vans US Open of Surfing. The event started July 27th and ended on August 4th, 2019. I originally just planned to pop in and out for the day on Saturday, but I ended up spending the whole last weekend there! ...and I'm so glad I did.
To my surprise, one of the event sponsors was Jeep. It was cool checking out their booth and seeing the new Jeeps. They even brought out some of the Gladiators! Naturally, the Jeep stand was poppin' all weekend. It was awesome seeing other people look at Jeeps the way we do. 😂
After checking out the Jeeps, I went to the up to the pier to watch the surfers do their thing. And wow, was I in for a treat. I saw both the men and women compete. These surfers were killin' it!
I watched the surfers from both the pier and the beach. I found the pier to be a better vantage point, but it was just as crowded as the beach below.
Luckily, the two days I attended the US Open of Surfing were the final days of the event so I got to see the athletes compete and place. Yago Dora and Sage Erickson were crowned champions. Congrats to these awesome surfers, it was absolutely killer to watch!
Although I'm no pro photographer and I'm new to videography, I did my best to capture these moments on the fly. You can check out a few of my videos below:
There were a TON of photographers on the beach and on the pier! Some of them had the craziest equipment. As someone who just got into photography, this was both interesting and also extremely intimidating. A few photographers had lenses so big they looked like telescopes! Now that's the way to photograph surfers.
Surf City USA, aka Huntington Beach, is recognized around the world as one of the top spots to catch a wave. People come here from all over to surf. And the awesome thing about Southern California is that the weather is perfect almost year-round.
There was so much to see and do at the US Open of Surfing. Besides watching the surfers compete, you could see skating and BMX events too. After the surfers wrapped up, I headed back down to the beach and into the venue to check out the other events and browse the booths.
Viewers could watch the talented athletes rip on the course and ramp right on the beach! Dennis Enarson and Perris Benegas placed first for the men's and women's Vans Rebel Jam. Best tricks went out to Broc Raiford and Natasha Wetzel.
The venue was surprisingly big. They even had room for this elaborate skate park setup! It was awesome seeing the men and women compete. The luckily skaters who came in first for the men's and women's Vans Showdown were skaters Taylor Kirby and Fabiana Delfino.
In-between events, there are lots of booths to browse. Another notable vendor representing the offroading community was BFGoodrich. I run BFG KO2 tires on my Jeep and have been in love with how they handle. I was happy that this company was also a part of the event. It's always great to see awesome brands getting out there, especially when they're sporting a Jeep in front of their booth!
The venue was complete with a welcome center, official Vans US Open of Surfing merch shop, and lots of vendors to browse and win freebies. Some of the other sponsors included Swatch, Hydro Flask, Clif Bars, and Harley Davidson.
There was also a stage for live music where people can kick back and relax and get lost in the rhythm. Behind the stage was a great view of the beach where you could watch the waves roll in. To the right of the stage are some volleyball nets to have some fun too!
Surrounding the main Huntington Beach area and Pier are a lot of shops, restaurants, and bars, all located within walking distance of the event. Best believe they were packed this weekend! It was insane seeing how many people came out for the event.
The mornings were cloudy and a bit chilly in my opinion (remember I spend most of my time in the scorching desert heat!), but by the time the afternoon hit, the sun came out and the weather was absolutely perfect both days. I have to say, the SoCal weather (outside of the desert) is fabulous in the summertime!
Thank you Huntington Beach for a great time! I can't wait to come back and explore more. Check out more pictures from the event below: