2014 U.S. Open of Surfing Preview
The 2014 U.S. Open of Surfing (July 26-Aug. 3) will hold the distinction of being an ASP Women's World Tour event, while for the men it remains an important stop on the qualifying series. Defending world champ Carissa Moore (left) is also the defending Open champ, but there's no shortage of women looking to knock her off the podium, like 2009 Open champ and last year's runner-up, Courtney Conlogue, right.
Moore has won the Open twice, so to say she knows the waves at Huntington is an understatement. She's basically dominated every other contest this year, so why wouldn't she be the favorite there as well?
While he's still unconfirmed for the Open, everybody's hoping 11-time world champ Kelly Slater finds his way to Surf City.
Sitting second in the world tour ratings, Sally Fitzgibbons is eager to get her world title campaign going in Huntington.
The stadiumlike atmosphere of the Huntington pier gives the surf contest the feeling of a mainstream sports event. The hundreds of thousands of people who show up to watch surfing, music, a skateboarding contest and more add to the vibe.
A fan favorite for Californians, Santa Cruz's Nat Young will be putting his goofy-footed talents to good use in Huntington. Growing up having surfed contests at the pier there, and given his recent world tour results, he is definitely considered a contender at the Open.
Just another hard-core surf fan.
With a head full of steam and a final and a semifinal under his belt so far this season, Kolohe Andino goes into the U.S. Open with a ton of momentum. He's still looking for an elite win in his young career on tour, and it could come here.
A 13th-place finish in Rio put a wrench into Stephanie Gilmore's otherwise-strong title chase, and she will go into Huntington Beach with a little bit of pressure on her shoulders as she sits in the world No. 3 position behind Moore and Fitzgibbons.
Always a fan favorite, with her obligations for ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue out of the way, Coco Ho will be back in Huntington looking to make her mark in HB and climb the ASP ratings.
After dealing with injury throughout the first half of the world tour season, Courtney Conlogue is happy to be back in the water, and the fact that the contest is in her backyard should give her added confidence.
It's little wonder that the U.S. Open has the reputation of being the craziest surf contest in the world.
Gabriel Medina has proved that he can surf and succeed in anything, and his world No. 1 position reflects as such, but he has yet to break out in Huntington Beach. This could be the year for the aerial-specialist.
Tyler Wright's bringing her power game to the big show, and if she's going to contend for a world title this year, she needs a win.
Turn It Down
After riots raged on Main Street in Huntington Beach last year, event owner IMG is looking to tone it down this time around. There will be movie nights in lieu of live concerts and carnival elements at the Open this year.