2013 Vans US Open of Surfing

Decem-brrrr in the South Bay

Last night a meteorologist (or two) on my Twitter feed mentioned that today west facing beaches would have some high surf advisories. I immediately noted on my calendar that I would need to head over to said beaches to see what kind of photos I could get. I have to admit, I really did not expect temperatures to hit the low 80’s; I guess that is why they call it Decem-brrrr.

The main obstacle I was to encounter is that high tide was going to happen around 1:00 AM and, truth be told, I have never photographed surf in the middle of the night. I decided to see how lucky I was by heading out a little before noon, with my first stop being the breakwater in Redondo Beach. Sometimes when we get big surf, the waves crashing on the rocks can be pretty dramatic. It may have been dramatic at 1:00 AM, but it was not that impressive when I arrived. There were several surfers to photograph and I could see the swells were getting bigger so I moved up the coast a mile to the Hermosa Beach Pier to see what I might find there. The surf was no bigger and there was a lone surfer that looked like he was a beginner, so I left and headed off to Manhattan Beach.

The Manhattan Beach Pier is photogenic no matter what the weather is like and there were several surfers and boogie boarders enjoying the active surf. All in all, it was a great winter day in the South Bay; it is feeling a lot like Christmas. Continue reading

Tuesday at the Vans US Open of Surfing

The 2013 Vans US Open of Surfing is happening in Huntington Beach, CA this week. I have never gone to a surf contest and did not even know it was going on until one of my acquaintances posted on her Facebook page that she was thinking of going out to watch it. I am not sure what it was, perhaps the great weather and encouragement from Tanya had something to do with it, but I decided to grab the camera and ride down to the Huntington Beach pier. It was a learning experience; that is for sure. For one thing, I need to plan this out better next time and have more time to devote to it. There is a lot more going on than just surfing.

There were lots of vendors there but I did not really check that part out much. There were more people by the vendors than on the beach so I would guess they were popular even if I did not recognize every name there. While I was there the skateboard bowl had the shop skate contest and the beginning of round two of the men’s surfing competition.

The Vans US Open of Surfing runs until Sunday July 28 and is definitely fun whether you are alone or with friends and/or family. Parking is going to suck, so take advantage of the free shuttle service on the weekend. You can get details and the schedule on the US Open of Surfing website. All the activity is at the Huntington Beach Pier. Continue reading

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