The noted Rory Parker says, "This contest is so good I shouldn't have to watch it for free!"
The US fucking Open. Worst thing ever. Well, maybe not the absolute worst. I’d rather watch the contest than have my dick set on fire. Which is what Derek says he’ll do if I don’t pump out a US Open write-up. Sneak into my house while I sleep and douse my shit in lighter fluid. Set it aflame.
Normally I’d just write that off as an empty threat. But at the moment he’s a mere forty-five minute flight away. He could make good, I better get to work.
Plenty of fun to be had in Huntington while the event runs. You can get a sunburn. Pound some brews and fight a guy with tribal tats. Fill your mental spank bank with images of scandalous young trim. Litter!
But you really can’t watch the surfing. Because it sucks.
I understand the reasons the US Open exists. Marketing. Money. Diverting cash to local businesses as the town floods with inland trash without anything better to do.
Contrary to popular belief, Huntington has not ditched the moniker, “Surf City, USA.” They’ve just decided to simultaneously adopt the motto, “The soul of SoCal.” They paid some dorks in Texas good money to come up with the latter.
If souls were real, which they are not, would Huntington Beach really be SoCal’s? Maybe. It’s a filthy crowded town. The municipal equivalent of low budget fake tits. Plenty pretty seen through a filter, downright disappointing first hand.
Founded by a union busting railroad baron, caught red handed falsifying water quality reports in the early oughts. Recently named among the top ten most polluted beaches in Southern California.
No parking, me first, fuck you.
But they can lure in top tier male pros with the promise of a potential six figure paycheck. Force the ladies in the water by jamming the stop on Tour. Which is pretty fucked. Shouldn’t put title points on an event that, nine times out of ten, is nothing but a wave catching contest.
I’m not gonna harp on that last point too hard. It helped Tyler Wright sneak into the ratings lead. I’m a huge fan. Shit stop, pleasant result.
I went to the US Open once. It was sometime around the end of the nineties. They had a snakeboarding demonstration.
Wasn’t one of the Hobgood twins really into snakeboarding? I could swear one of them was there. Strapped in, padded up. Wiggling at the launch ramp with all his might.
I’ve been paying zero attention to the contest. Watched a bit of the Duct Tape Invitational so I could poke fun at it. Looking at the semis draw I think I made a good choice.
The US Open often ends with the unexpected on top of the podium. Location ain’t great for demonstrating skill. You need luck, basically.
So we see weird winners. Simpo, that kid from last year. No surprise that the waist high (to me) slop on offer has a semi draw featuring:
ADS v Ethan Ewing
Who the fuck is Ethan Ewing? Some diminutive Aussie ripper. Light, limber. Able to squeeze some turns into the type of wave I could barely ride. He does surf real good.
Then we’ve got Kainoa Igarashi facing off against Toledo. I am not surprised to see Kainoa in the finals of a ‘QS event. I am confused, have always been, when it comes to how ‘QS points can keep you on the ‘CT. But I assume Kainoa knows how things work. Hasn’t made it past the third round all year in the big leagues, desperately needs the minor league scores to keep his meal ticket rolling.
Judging by the four remaining competitors, there’s one factor you need to succeed in HB. You’ve gotta be fucking tiny.
Not that there’s anything wrong with being a small dude. Only real benefit to above average height is the ability to reach shit on the top shelf without a ladder.
Two ladies from Kauai on that side of the final. That’s cool. I watched Malia Manuel dismantle some wind slop the other day. She surfs very well. Far more impressive in person.
Men’s semi finally going. Thank goodness. I’m so over this shit. Maybe de Souza will murder the kid with tactics. Reduce him to tears. I’ve got nothing against Ewing, but this event needs some excitement. Broken dreams will fit the bill.
Pete Mel is continuing the surf tour tradition of describing waves that aren’t being ridden. “Look how clean that face is.” Sure.
Ewing gets a 7.83 to start it off. Backside vert bonk, c level snap, kinda floater but not really nose tap on the end. Backs it up with a 6.77 for two more backside bonks.
So that’s how this is gonna go. Dead ball bullshit. Blame the judges, not the surfers. No reason to go high risk when barely trying is hard to beat.
And it’s ADS going high perf! Uses the oncoming mushball for a big nasty fin blow rev. What world is this?
ADS is getting hosed. His 7.83 was better than Ewing’s. Underscored on his rev too. Ewing’s 6.77 wasn’t shit. Whatever, though. Just how things go.
Besides, Adriano in the finals at the US Open doesn’t matter at all. Nothing more than a good paycheck.
But it’s a huge deal for a seventeen year old.
Trailing, five minutes left in the heat, and ADS loses priority for absolutely no reason. He is not happy. Arms out in whatever. How do you say, “What the fuck?” in Portuguese?
Then they give it back to him.
Turpel: “We won’t speculate on the call too much.”
God forbid we get some real commentary. Real nice handing a competitor a mind fuck like that during a heat.
De Souza falls on his next wave. Ewing sits on his face and takes the win. Big smiles for the tow-head.
Kauai doesn’t do recycling pick-up, and I hate going to the drop-off. It’s gross and for some reason I never get around to it until it’s pouring rain. So I let shit pile up until it’s a problem. But I’d rather go deal with that then sit through the next few heats.
Whenever I see a grown man wearing a weird hat I know he’s going bald. Boardshorts over wetsuit just screams tiny dick.
Toledo and Igarashi.
Toledo’s handed a 7.5 for a double bonk combo. Ugh.
Then they sit around for a while. Toledo forces a frontside full roter. Looks like he’s about to claim it, then thinks better of it. Beach is hollering as if they know what they’re looking at.
Igarashi snags a left, pumps towards the oncoming section, then just kicks out rather than try to hit it.
8.17 for Toledo’s air. Igarashi’s sitting combo’ed with a 1.5 heat total. 15.68 deep. He’s pretty well fucked.
Tick tock tick tock tick tock.
This heat is really laying bare the ability gap. Toledo is manufacturing cool shit in garbage. Type of stuff that’d make you double-take if you were sitting out the back. Kainoa’s acting as though he’s waiting for a good wave to unleash on. But the waves are terrible. It’d take some intervention from a god that doesn’t exist to put him in the lead.
Or just bad judging. Which is always a possibility.
They used to make guys in contests at HB wear helmets. I wish they still did. Might inject some amusement into a tedious affair.
Toledo uses a lined up left to toss a nice backside spinny deal. Neat. Puts that final nail in Kainoa’s coffin.
So it’s Weston-Webb and Manuel in the women’s final. Toledo and the Aussie grom for the boys.
Tatiana takes off backside on a closeout. Tries to hit it, falls.
And that’s enough. I’m done. Fuck it.
I’ve got better things to do than sit through another hour of awful.
Go scroll through your facebook feed if you care who won.
Editor’s Note: The contest is not over but who the hell cares? Here’s an old picture of Filipe winning. He probably will!