US Open Of Surfing Kicks Into High Gear

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – Tuesday, August 3, 2010 – Buoyed by yesterday’s announcement of a record $50,000 first place prize for the six-star women’s division, the U.S. Open of Surfing has kicked into high gear at the famed Huntington Beach Pier.  The U.S. Open of Surfing presented by Hurley, Nike 6.0 and Converse hosts 500 world-class athletes and draws more than 500,000 spectators over nine days—July 31 to August 8.  The event is owned and produced by IMG, a global leader in sports and entertainment.  All of the action is accessible live on www.usopenofsurfing.com.

“I think it’s awesome,” said Carissa Moore. “50 grand for first place means there’s a lot more on the line and a lot more excitement. It’s great to have that level of support.”  In addition to the unprecedented first place prize, the overall women’s purse increased to $90,000, by far the largest for any star-rated event in the world.

Anchored by the world’s largest professional surfing competition, the $380,000 U.S. Open features North America’s only combined ASP Men’s Prime and Women’s Six-Star competitions and is a pivotal point on the ASP World Tour.  Elite competitors include three-time U.S. Open champion Rob Machado, reigning U.S. Open champion Brett Simpson, nine-time world champion Kelly Slater and three-time world and former U.S. Open champion Andy Irons along with Sally Fitzgibbons, current number two in the world, and Jacqueline Silva.

Converse and Nike 6.0 will bring top action sports athletes to Huntington later in the week by hosting elite BMX and Skateboarding competitions south of the famed pier.  The $100,000 Nike 6.0 HB BMX Pro is a uniquely-formatted “park event,” featuring established pros like Garrett Reynolds, Dennis Enarson and Mike Spinner, to veterans like Ryan Guettler, Daniel Dhers and Ryan Nyquist, to phenoms like 15-year-old Brett Banasiewcz.

Not to be outdone, the $75,000 Converse Coastal Carnage returns with a Super Mini-Park event for skateboarding featuring one of the most creative wooden bowls ever designed.  Lance Mountain and Kenny Anderson will be seen battling it out alongside todays up and coming amateurs like Tommy Remillard, Curren Caples and Grant Taylor.

Hurley’s wildly successful Walk the Walk National Championship, a high school fashion competition that’s best described as “Friday Night Football” meets “the Runway,” hits the U.S. Open stage on Friday, August 6.  While four schools (Huntington Beach, Lincoln-San Diego, Toms River East-NJ and Pearl City-HI) survived a grueling three months of online video challenges, two wildcards (Corona Del Mar and Kellam-Virginia Beach) were recently selected from 26 schools vying against each other for the final spots.  The six finalists will create their own five-minute fashion show and compete on the runway to win the grand prize of $25,000.

Headlined by the one-of-a-kind, 20,000 square foot Action Sports’ retail and brand experience, U.S. Open spectators will enjoy an interactive festival featuring more than 100 exhibits, autograph signings, DJs, guest emcees and prize giveaways.  Top national acts will perform live on the concert stage Tuesday through Saturday, August 3-8.  The lineup includes:

Tuesday, Aug. 3    4:30 – 6:30 p.m.    Cold War Kids preceded by The Soft Pack
Wednesday Aug. 4    4:30 – 6:30 p.m.    Bedouin Soundclash preceded by Iration
Thursday Aug. 5    4:30 – 6:30 p.m.    Switchfoot preceded by Timmy Curran
Friday, Aug. 6    4:30 – 6:30 p.m.    Cobra Starship preceded by Street Drum Corps
Saturday, Aug. 7    4:30 – 6:30 p.m.    Weezer preceded by Hot Hot Heat

Open to the public free-of-charge, the U.S. Open of Surfing began on Saturday, July 31 and runs through Sunday, August 8.  Live webcast and consumer information is available at usopenofsurfing.com.