Surf's up at the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach this coming weekend, and it promises to top last year's big event.
It all starts on Saturday, July 30. During the nine-day event, more than a half million people are expected to hit the sand on the south side of the Huntington Beach Pier to watch all of the biggest surfing names show off their skills. The event is considered the world's largest surfing competition for both male and female surfers.
This year, crowds will see the return of the World Professional Surfers All Stars, where fan favorites will be honored in front of the massive crowds.
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This year’s WPS All Stars include: Kelly Slater, Dane Reynolds, Jordy Smith, Taj Burrow, Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Julian Wilson, Rob Machado, Andy Irons (Honorary Spot), and Alejo Muniz.
"When I compete at Huntington, I channel my memories from when I was kid watching the event," said 10-time world champion Slater, this year's top vote-getter. "It's a strange feeling to be in the water with 20,000 pairs of eyes on you. It used to make me nervous -- now it just gets me excited and makes me want to surf better."
And, the women are equally as pumped about the upcoming festivities too.
"I'm really excited to be returning to Huntington Beach to try to defend my U.S. Open title," said Hawaii's Carissa Moore. "It's so fun to be competing in front of so many people."
The U.S. Open will also feature a grade four men's and women's Pro Junior, as well as the Pacifico Nose Riding Invitational -- always a crowd favorite.
But, it's not just a surfing competition. It's also one big beach party.
The Open of Surfing has something for everyone. The event will feature skating competitions, BMX bike riding exhibits, music, fashion and art.
"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 Nike Action Sports. "Our commitment this year is to bring the energy from Huntington Beach to even more fans across the world."
The 2011 Nike US Open of Surfing will run from July 30 to August 7. All events are free and open to the public or can be viewed live daily at www.usopenofsurfing.com.