Maybe it was because the Roxy Pro was cancelled earlier this month or just the weather over here shouting "EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!" but we were super into this year's Vans US Open of Surfing. Here's what we liked best
1. THE FINAL. It had narrative, two power surfers, Courtney Conlogue surfing her local break with a home crowd, the other an outsider Carissa Moore, California v Hawaii. It had intrigue, how would the up and coming Courtney Conlogue fare against the former ASP World Champ Carissa Moore. And boy did it have drama. Carissa Moore took an early lead and seemed in total control before Courtney Conlogue surged at the end with a killer left hand wave through the pier. The crowd waited on the judge’s verdict and they handed it to Carissa Moore by a single point.
Here's Carissa Moore's best wave. An 8.17 with 2 backside snaps and 3 turns:
2. ITS IMPACT ON THE TITLE RACE. Like a washing machine set for a quick spin, then stopped mid-cycle when you realise you've left a wad of tissue in your jean short pocket. Or something. This year's race has been properly shaken up. An early exit for Steph Gilmore pretty much ended her hopes for a sixth ASP Women's World Title, Carissa Moore's win took her above Tyler Wright to lead the rankings and Courtney Conlogue leapfrogged Sally Fitzgibbons into third with two events to go.
3. PAULINE ADO. The French ripper needed a good contest to keep up the rankings and help her requalify for next year's ASP Women's World Tour and she had one, surfing super well all week before coming up against an almost unstoppable Carissa Moore in the semi.
4. THE FROTHERS. Boy band-level crowds for Kelly Slater are nothing new but now Alana Blanchard’s getting them too. She even had her own streaker shouting “I love you Alana, you’re the best!" Social media-stoked obsession plus proximity equals well this.
5. THE PHOTOS. We don't live in Southern California, a fact that makes us ache on a near hourly basis. But this year's stunning and hyper-real pictures took us pretty close. We were also super into Ed Templeton's HB shots on his Instagram.
6. KEALA KENNELLY'S SURFER WALK OF FAME INDUCTION. All hail the monster wave rider and Women of the Year 2013 getting her own star on the Surf City beachfront sidewalk.
7. THE LOGO. A collegiate wildcats-vibe that looks good enough to stitch to your backpack.