For all its faults God bless Huntington Beach.
I didn’t make it to the US Open of Surfing this year because I was in Copenhagen, Denmark drinking natural orange wines, swimming beneath a hot late evening sun, shopping for trunks with very clean lines and eating Michelin stars. It was a wonderful time. A perfect time. But I just read a story in the Los Angeles Times that gave me severe FOMO.
Here it is.
Huntington Beach police reported making 80 arrests during the nine-day Vans U.S. Open of Surfing, which ended Sunday, though public safety officials said there was “nothing major or significant” compared with last year’s event.
Police Chief Robert Handy said during Monday night’s City Council meeting that, in addition to the arrests, police recorded:
83 criminal reports
50 criminal citations
260 civil citations
181 alcohol-related citations
368 traffic citations
884 parking violations
Fire Chief David Segura said Fire Department medical personnel saw 38 patients, 26 of whom were taken to hospitals.
First-aid volunteers, who handle minor cuts, bruises and heat issues, treated and released 237 patients, Segura said.
And is the US Open in Huntington Beach the last bastion for bad behavior on tour? And by “on tour” I mean on the Women’s tour? Son of a bitch. I mean daughter of a bitch. I wish I had been there. I did speak with my other favorite surf photographer besides Steve Sherman who worked ten full days and he said there is no longer a ground zero for surfers/surf industry/surf journalists.
Back in my day the Shorebreak was it. Wandering though its lobby was a minefield of dirty looks, elbow jabs, faux shakas and good-natured laughs. The bar was Taj Burrow grinning ear to ear while drinking ghastly Corona. The restaurant, then called Zimzala, is where Joe G. introduced me to the Border Patrol. Half margarita, half beer, tons of hot sauce.
Next year I would like to suggest a BeachGrit Bar where we can all come, drink Border Patrols, then try to get arrested.
Are you in?
What if I throw an STD into the mix?