There will be blood.
But how good does it feel to have our US Open of Surfing back in Huntington Beach, California? Two years ago, the Covid pandemic upended it entirely. Last year, it was but a shell of its former self. Now, though, the sands are packed with rabid fans, the water teeming with Championship Tour hopefuls.
As you know, the “world’s most popular surf contest” is a Challenger Series event, much like the Quiksilver Pro France that was, days ago, beheaded and tossed into a shallow grave. Being such, it contains many multiples of points for which the aforementioned Championship Tour hopefuls to pocket and join the top ranks (before being beheaded themselves mid-year, shallow grave etc.).
Exciting and even more exciting with the possibility that Hawaii’s Zeke Lau is very much in the mix.
Lau, you will recall, won last summer’s Ultimate Surfer on ABC proving to himself, and the world, that he was the greatest living surfer. The reward for such a feat was multiple wildcard entries into 2022 Championship Tour events though our hero did not need as he qualified on his own. Well, he was cut, mid-year, no telling what happened to the golden Ultimate Surfer tickets, and is there, in Huntington, tan, rested and ready.
“I feel good coming back to Huntington. It’s just somewhere that feels comfortable,” Lau told the The Orange County Register‘s Laylan Connelly. “It was pretty rough today, there weren’t a lot of waves. It looks like there’s going to be some waves later this week. Every event at this point is a make or break. If I do good here, it will put me in a really good spot to re-qualify. I’m just focused on surfing and do good in the events I’m in, and enjoy it.”
Make or Break, it must be noted, is the watchable World Surf League series as opposed to The Ultimate Surfer.
In any case, if Lau qualifies soon it will be three qualifications in one calendar year.
It must be.