Surf City USA
Huntington Beach is a seaside community in the heart of Orange County with a population of over 200,000. There is so much to do in this city but let’s face it; HB as it is known, is all about the beach, the ocean, and surfing!
When I was a kid they held a worldwide surfing championship at the pier and for us locals, it was just as popular as the Super Bowl or the World Series. Crowds flocked to Huntington Beach to watch world class athletes perform at its famous surf break. We would always arrive there as early as we could to get a prime view from the pier.
In the early days, the contestants rode ten feet long surfboards and it always amazed me how they accomplished such smooth footwork while moving back and forth on the board. At the end of the wave, they would whip the board in the opposite direction for a stylish cut-back, as it was called. Sometimes for more points, they would casually stride across the board towards the nose to execute the crowd pleasing “Hang Ten” maneuver.
Over the years the boards got smaller and smaller so today the riders fly, snap, cut , carve, gyrate across the wave on boards half of the size of their predecessors. Both styles are just as impressive in my opinion.
The crowds still turn up for this huge event much to the happiness of local merchants and vendors. It is a world renowned contest and with such a long history with the city, it is no wonder they call Huntington Beach, “Surf City USA”.
With miles of wide sandy beaches and prime surfing waves, the city embraces the surf culture. There are over 50 surf contests held per year including the aforementioned US Open of Surfing. It also is home to the International Surf Museum, the Surfers’ Hall of Fame, and the Surfing Walk of Fame.