Volleyball Mojo: AVP Manhattan Beach Open

Pros dive and spike: The Association of Volleyball Professionals hits the sand.

Beach recreation is the epitome of easy-breezy, no-worry-no-hurry, fun in the sun in most people's minds. Stick your feet in some waves, catch rays, draw a heart in the sand.

Beach volleyball? It's the awesomely muscled, pure-power other end of the spectrum. It's the opposite of chillaxing, and while "fun in the sun" is certainly part of the equation for both the athletes and the spectators, head-first dives into the sand, superhero-like leaps at the net, and spikes of pure power are the order of the day.

Witness this, in person, during one of the biggest tourneys to hit the shores of Southern California. It's the AVP Manhattan Beach Open, and it's at the nets through Sunday, Aug. 17.

The Association of Volleyball Professionals has been bringing top-notch v-ballery to cities around the country for over 30 years, but watching it Pacific-side, with the likes of players like Kerri Walsh Jennings, Whitney Pavlik, and a host of forearm-fierce athletes is a very specific SoCal pleasure.

It's year 55 for the Manhattan Beach Open, which makes it "the longest, continuous tournament in the sport of beach volleyball." A Manhattan Beach Open Walk of Fame Pier ceremony is part of the weekend program, too.

As for tickets? Check it out: It's free to see. Now that's pretty easy-breezy and very fun in the sun.

Play kicks off each day, Friday through Sunday, at 9 a.m. Ready for the best of the best in that classic, sandy-footed, multi-netted SoCal setting? 'Tis the season for world-class beach volleyball.

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And if you can't get enough of the AVP action, hold tight: It's in Huntington Beach in the middle of September.

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