The U.S. Open of Surfing is anyone’s to win or lose – the chance for an unknown surfer to get hoisted up on the sand, or any of the world’s best to showcase to the surf world why they’re on top.
In all, about 200 surfers travel from around the globe to compete, some driving from up the street to take on the waves at the Huntington Beach pier, others enduring long flights to hit the Southern California salt water for the event.
The event is a QS10,000 for the men, which means big points for surfers looking to boost their ratings on the qualifying series, points that can also help some surfers maintain or nab a spot on the World Tour. For the women, it’s a World Tour contest, meaning big points as they battle in the race for a world title.
For the juniors pro event, some of the competitors aren’t yet old enough to drive themselves to the U.S. Open and have dreams of one day making it as a pro surfer. A good showing in the pro junior puts their name on the map and shows sponsor they are an athlete to be taken seriously.
That was once Santa Ana’s Courtney Conlogue, 24, who started competing in the event when she was a pre-teen.
“I look back at how long I’ve been involved in the U.S. Open of Surfing, and just the history of the whole event and all the different experiences I’ve…