The Vans U.S. Open of Surfing is building to a big finale on Sunday. And there’s still plenty of time to enjoy this fun event.
Here’s some helpful tips to keep you out with the awful parking situation. Parking is always bad in Huntington Beach and impossible with a big national event such as this.
That’s why I always take the public bus, while my neighbor prefers Uber. I jump on Orange County Transit’s No. 1 bus which zips down Pacific Coast Highway every hour. I catch it at Main Street in Seal Beach, but there are also stops in Long Beach, such as the transit center at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital.
I just some them my TAP card and I’m good to go. If you don’t have a senior discount card, it will cost you 75 cents.
The only stop is usually the Bolsa Chica Beach turnaround. The bus drops me off right at the Huntington Beach Pier, across from Main Street.
I like to get there early to beat the heat and the crowds. It also gives you the best chance to win all the free stuff they’re giving away. You can win Vans shoes at a ring toss, grab a custom decorated hat or win some new sunglasses and a Vans totebag at a bean bag toss.
But the lines can get very long, so the early bird catches the worm. I found plenty of seating in the huge BMX and skateboard stadium. Bikers and boarders are also trying to win national titles at the surfing competition.
I loved watched the BMX bikers zoom down into the deep bowls, building up speed to come flying off the lips of the stadium. Awesome! And their tricks inside were really neat!
Young women showed their fine forms, practicing with the daring dudes, warming up for the day’s competition. Looking good out there dudettes!
Then it was over to the surfing competition, where I snagged a seat in the shade at the top of the bleachers. With a cool morning breeze it was beautiful!
The surfers lined up waiting for the next big wave. Some of them cut it pretty close to the pier festooned with signs from the sponsors. Several wiped out when a tricky maneuver got away from them. Wipe out!
Of course, there was plenty of merchandise to buy from the World Surf League and other sporting groups. The Vans store was huge and air conditioned.
One stand offered a choice of T-shirts plus a hat for only $15. And that’s for a brand name.
An elderly friend of mine, Richard, has gone every day this week, making the long bus commute from Los Angeles. Everyone seemed to know him as he pushed his walker from stand to stand. One lady gave him SIX chocolate bars!
He advised me to get in line for the free hotdogs given away beginning at noon. He says he ate six hot dogs and a slider yesterday. Where does he put it all?
Then he showed me the water bottle filling stations, which poured out chilled water. Can’t beat that!
He likes to walk around and check out the people. Richard says you get single young people during the week and families on the weekend.
Take a walk on the pier if you want to look down on the surfers. Though it can be tough to get a spot at the railings!
When it’s time to come home, zip across the street to the Dairy Queen, where you have an easier time catching the bus. Richard says the bus doesn’t stop at Main Street when there’s too many people!
I had a wonderful day of free fun and adventure. Cowabunga dude!