Surfs Up at Huntington Beach’s Vans US Open of Surfing

Giant tent with onlookers watching surfing competition on a sunny day

Immerse yourself in the world of California surf culture at the 2019 Vans U.S. Open of Surfing in “Surf City, U.S.A.” The U.S. Open is the largest surfing event in the world attended by over 700,000 fans and spanning 9 days. Carrying on the tradition of major competitive surfing since 1959, this is one Southern California event you won’t want to miss. 

This year, The Open will showcase the world’s best technical surfing alongside an exceptional entertainment experience. Some of the top men’s and women’s competitors include Conner Coffin, Stephanie Gilmore, Kolohe Andino, Lakey Peterson, Griffin Colapinto, Kanoa Igarashi, Coco Ho, Sally Fitzgibbons, Sage Erickson, and plenty more. Along with top tier surfing, you’ll find skate and BMX competitions, live music, movie premieres, car shows, and Vans product 

Named one of the best events for surf addicts, The U.S. Open of Surfing is perfect for seasoned veterans, or just casual people watching. The diverse range of spectators is now its own phenomenon with plenty of odd characters, pro surfers, athletes, beach bums, Instagram influencers, street performers, skaters, teenagers, and families. 


Huntington Beach

Located smack dab in the middle of Los Angeles and San Diego, is the classic California surf town that is Huntington Beach. Not to mention it was named the “2018’s Best Beach of California” by USA Today. You can choose to stay in a luxurious oceanfront resort or settle in the historic downtown with weekly farmer’s markets, shopping, night-life, and dining. Get a full California experience with surf lessons, stand-up paddleboarding, bike rentals, biking, skateboarding, kayaking, duffy boats, and plenty more.

How to Watch 

The best part about the event is that it’s completely free. Whether you catch every surf heat or not a single one, there’s always something to do. Get to the beach early each morning to reserve your speck of sand for views of the most talented surfers in the world. For a break from spectating, check out popular attractions like the Van Doren Village and various product demos. Above all else, Huntington’s US Open of Surfing is a premier people-watching destination.  

Getting Around and Parking 

The city of Huntington Beach consists of parking meters with two-hour limits. With that being said, we strongly advise against driving to the event as overcrowding and a lack of real estate make parking a never-ending nightmare. Instead, we suggest taking an uber to the event and getting around by foot, skateboard, or scooter while there. 

Where to Eat


  1. What is the closest Airport to Huntington Beach? 

Orange County/ John Wayne Airport (SNA) is the closest airport offering 115 daily non-stop flights. 

  1. What should I bring/wear?

Huntington Beach in August is often scorching hot so make sure to dress accordingly. We strongly recommend bringing hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, and water. There are plenty of tasty food options at the event, but with long lines and high prices, you might be better off packing your own snacks. 

  1. What is the admission fee? 

Admission to the U.S. Open and even the concerts is completely free!

  1. When is the US Open of Surfing?

The 9-day competition lasts from July 27th to August 4th and the schedule is jam-packed with various activities that can all be found here

  1. What am I not allowed to bring? 

According to the event website, weapons, alcoholic beverages, pets, controlled substances, beach toys, and a bad attitude are all frowned upon. 

  1. How does the surf contest work?

The Van’s U.S. Open of Surfing is a qualifying series event for the World Surf League (WSL) championship tour with men’s, women’s, and junior divisions. 

  1. What channel is the US Open of Surfing on?

Check your local channel listings, as it may vary. A live stream of the event is also available, right here!


Looking for convenient hotel accommodation near Huntington Beach? The Hotel Atrium is located directly across from John Wayne Airport. We welcome all US Open of Surfing spectators and anyone looking for a slice of California lifestyle. If you’re looking for even more things to do around the city, check out our attractions page. Book your stay with Hotel Atrium today!


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irvine, ca 92612

949.833.2770 | 800.854.3012

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