For the past several years I’ve been attending the US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, however I haven’t had the time to upload most of the photos here on the website. So in order to keep a historical record of each year, I thought I would go back and start where I left off.
My last post for the US Open of Surfing was in 2013, I was missing posting 2014, 2015 and now 2016. So I’ll start with the 2014 Vans US Open of Surfing and work my way forward, so expect many updates in the coming days. I hope you don’t mind!
Because this was a while ago, I don’t recall the details too well but will try to narrate the best as I can remember about the event and of course the gear I had at the time.
The US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach is always a fun week. Thousands of people come from around the world to see the best surfers compete, but they also have a festival village built on the sand with lots of activities for people to participate.
The crowds are huge for the 9 day event. It runs from one Saturday to the following weekend’s Sunday, usually at the last week of July each year. Most everyone comes to see the surfers compete, which takes place on the south side of the Huntington Beach Pier.
This is where hundreds of photographers gather to shoot the surfers as they head out to their heats. Below is Tatiana Weston-Webb.
Of course others come to people watch. With so many people gathered at the beach it’s probably the next most popular thing to do at this event. It can get a little crazy out there, 2014 wasn’t too bad though, the organizers really cracked down on the usual body paint that girls would write on themselves.
For those that come to see the surfers, they are all around the venue. Most go out and see them during their heats, where the beaches are lined up with spectators and other photographers, like you see in the photo below.
And for the photographers, it seems that some use this event to shoot their own models. This is often seen done under the Huntington Beach Pier. I captured this random photographer shooting a model right under the HB Pier, and there were thousands of people all around him. He of course had to dodge the many spectators that kept walking behind and in front of the model as he photographed her.
For anyone that plans to attend this yearly event, I suggest you plan ahead and choose wisely the days you visit. Towards the end of the week the beach does get very crowded and difficult to find a spot, let alone parking near by.
Finally, as most of you know, I primarily shoot Nikon, for this event I believe I used the Nikon D7000 and 80-200mm for most of the week. Of course I had two bodies, and a smaller lens on the second one, probably the Nikon 50mm 1.8. I would also highly recommend lots of sunscreen, a hat, and a beach umbrella if you plan on shooting from the beach.
This is where you’ll find my current year’s edition of the US Open of Surfing.