There is nothing better than hanging out with 125,000 of your closest friends at the U.S. Open presented by Hurley. Major props goes out to Hurley for putting this whole thing together and bringing back all-stars like Slater, Fanning, Machado, and Irons. This event dwarfed past years in action, size, half-naked girls, entertainment value, skate/bike/shaping demos, and….half naked girls. Everyone was rallying behind local boy Brett Simpson in the final vs. Mick Fanning. The energy was positive and people were hooting and cheering at every wave whether it was Fanning or Simpo. When it was all over Simpson prevailed in his hometown to the tune of $100K in prize money.
That wasn’t the only action though. There were the usual raffles, and giveaways as well as retail buildings they erected with full on air conditioning. The stand out this year was the Sacred Craft Shaping Demo. Scott Bass and the boys set up a shaping booth inside an air conditioned tent for the shapers to do shaping demos on the sand right in the middle of all the craziness. Along with the help of U.S. Blanks and us (Foam E-Z) they were able to work through and explain the shaping process to onlookers. I was able to catch John Carper doing his thing and it was really to cool to not only see what he was doing but to also hear him explain his movements. It was very special since the inside of a shaper’s bay is a very private place. This is where secrets are kept and ideas are formed, therefore to be able to see a real pro going at it was a great treat for everyone. Carper really wowed the crowd when he broke out a chainsaw to cut out the outline. Other legendary shapers on hand for the demo were; Bill Stewart, Maurice Cole, Doc Lausch, Darren Handley, Pat Rawson, and local HB legend surfer/shaper Robert August. So as you can see this was quite a display of history, skill, and craftsmanship.
Not sure if I mentioned it but there were Half Naked Girls everywhere!! By the end of the event people were ready for more. The pros and spectators agreed that they can’t wait to see what will happen next year.
Reported by Grant Ramey
Pics by Jeff Holtby