Fast Times at Vans U.S. Open of Surfing
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Cypress-based shoe and action-wear company Vans, whose checked sneakers were made famous in the 1982 teen comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High, debuted as host of the Vans 2013 U.S. Open of Surfing this past week.
SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel saw Vans familiar checker board signs, emblazoned with Vans “Off the Wall” logo, everywhere at the Open from the Huntington Beach Pier to the viewing stands, skateboard and music arenas, giant on-site retail store, and more.
Eager to put its own stamp on this premier surfing event, Vans pulled out all the stops in scheduling activities and entertainment and lining up celebrities and sponsors to make this a beach blast to remember.
To help get things going, 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater grabbed the highest score of the men’s opening round.
Event sponsor Simple Mobile’s green caps kept everyone shielded from the sun…
while Paul Mitchell’s hair stylists had their scissors ready to give quick cuts on the spot.
Red Bull was back…
and Pacifico Clara toasted the USOS with a larger-than-life beer bottle.
Not to be left out, McDonald’s set up an on-site McCafé featuring $2 blueberry smoothies.
Pura Vida showcased its simple, but surprisingly beautiful, string bracelets made by artisans along Costa Rica’s Dominical Beach, a venture that empowers and helps Costa Rican families.
Fiat’s dune buggy-size 500 was an eye-catcher and had people speculating how much they could fit inside it.
The Surfrider Foundation’s Huntington/Seal Beach Chapter, headed by Tony Soriano, was out in full force, too, giving out information about ways to protect the environment.
Thanks to Jenny Lamott, Vans Manager of Corporate Services, the Chapter had a booth right behind the VIP viewing stands.
In addition to talking to people about ocean concerns, it organized a beach cleanup with Surfrider sponsor Orange County Clothing Company.
All in all, while the surf festivities were going on, 117 volunteers picked up over 162 lbs. of trash.
Along with the surfing action itself, Vans had a full roster of skateboard and BMX bike competitions, bands, art and movies.
The House of Vans Stage was rocking all week with sounds from Modest Mouse, The Faint and Twin Shadow.
Add in giveaways and food, and it’s no wonder that some 500,000 people made their way to the beach.
This year Rick “Rockin Fig” Fignetti, after long stints as KROQ’s resident “Surfologist” and serving as the official announcer for 19 USOS events, was inducted into the Surfers’ Hall of Fame…along with surfers Shane Dorian and Skip Frye.
A Huntington Beach local hero, who owns a popular surf shop on Main Street, Fig is a champion surfer himself with two national surfing titles.
When all the competitions were over, the last surfers standing were: Men’s Champion Alejo Muniz of Brazil and Women’s Champion Carissa Moore of Hawaii.
Just as Vans had hoped, this was a surfing event to remember… definitely worthy of an encore performance!
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