Scene on the sand: U.S. Open 2013
The U.S. Open of Surfing -- held annually in Surf City USA, aka Huntington Beach, Calif. -- is mostly about surfing, skating and BMX, but the free concerts on Thursday and Friday draw some big crowds as well. Music lovers were treated to Matt Costa and Modest Mouse on the final night; they put on a great show that will not be forgotten anytime soon. Click through the gallery for a glimpse into what transpired out of the water this year.
Bump, Set, Spike
What's a day at the beach in California without a little beach volleyball? Even if the world's best surfers are performing just a stone's throw away, coed volleyball is always a good way to mix things up.
Challenged athletes showed a lot of commitment and talent during the U.S. Open's onshore activities. If you think dropping into the bowl is hard enough on a bike or skateboard, just imagine what it's like in a wheelchair.
L: South Africa's Jordy Smith was one of the event's most in-form surfers. Shown here in a quiet moment with his fiance, Smith -- a well-rounded surfer who is dangerous in any conditions, from big Tahiti to small Huntington -- finished in fifth place. R: Kolohe Andino, aka Brother, hails from San Clemente, Calif., and is one of surfing's brightest stars.Only 19 years old and already competing on the World Tour against surfers like Kelly Slater, Andino finished second at the Open this year. Here, he happily poses for photos with one of his fans.
Crowds are legendary in Huntington. Even two miles down the beach from the pier and the U.S. Open, the crowd is still thick, in and out of the water.
Your Name Here
Since the Open is one of the biggest surfing events in the world, all the surf companies have their best team riders show up for promos and autograph signings. Kids line up for blocks to get a glimpse of their heroes. Dane Reynolds is probably the biggest surf star of them all; he's here in the red striped shirt, with Travis Logie from South Africa to his left.
Posted up at the base of the pier, this trio banged out some great tunes for the crowd. Not sure how much change they collected -- maybe enough for lunch? -- but they were having fun, and that's the reason why Vans puts this event on.
A block in from the Pacific Coast Highway, on Main Street, the party continued. Groups of bikini-clad beach girls handed out free samples of all kinds. All the shops, restaurants and bars on Main Street were filled to capacity for the final weekend of the U.S. Open.
Folks sure are friendly during the U.S. Open. Notice a pattern here?
Skateboarding and BMX are a big part of the U.S. Open. And considering that the sports' biggest stars are here, it's only fitting that Vans built a facility especially for them: the Vans Pro Bowl Stadium. There was hardly an empty seat during the finals of both the skate and BMX events.
Sun, sand, water and ... paint. There was no shortage of body paint on offer over the course of the event, and that means no shortage of fun.
Sandoval throws a one-handed air in the deep end during the finals of the Van Doren Invitational BMX Bowl Contest at the U.S. Open.
There's one thing that always stands out at the U.S. Open year after year, and that's the crowds of people that come down to enjoy it. The man in black represents for presenting sponsor Vans.
Spectators of every stripe turn out for the Open every year, running in crews they came with, met there or put together on the fly while roving the beach. The happy vibe's infectious.
Save Your Seat
As the high tide comes up, beach space is at a premium. For the most part, everyone was well behaved (at least until Sunday night) -- a testament to surfing and Southern California beach culture.
It's not Halloween, but you'd never know that during the U.S. Open in Huntington Beach every summer. The guys on the left were caught patrolling the parking lot; we're not sure what they were looking for, but does it really matter?