Words: David "Crappy" Campbell
What happens when the Beast can’t handle the titillation? People start throwing chairs, that’s what.
The Beast that is the US Open could not go softly into the night on Sunday evening. The crowd was out of control and had been fed high-octane energy drinks for eight days straight. No lay days. Aimless aggression took to the streets after the crowd would not disperse moments after the closing of the US Open. A riot broke out on Main Street, Huntington Beach, and the only reason that has been discovered is that they didn’t want to leave. Did the people riot because they couldn’t take anymore of the commercialism and consumerism or were the people in uproar because their beloved sport of surfing had been whored out to the point that no one could take it? Nope. Sadly this was because tourist kids visiting Huntington Beach were drunk on moronic activity and didn’t want this monstrosity to end. The event had reached a climax, the come down was too harsh and the gremlins wanted more.
Too bad it wasn’t in the name of surfing or lack of waves. I could have stood by a peaceful protest for lack of lay days. The talent was all there this year, the biggest line-up ever to surf a non-WCT event. Upon reviewing the event program there wasn’t even an athlete profile page to learn about all the amazing surfers that were here – it mostly consisted of ads. The surf stadium does make for one hell of a venue to see some action; you just need the waves to be there for it to be worthwhile. Our champions, Carissa Moore and Alejo Muniz, fought hard for this win and it should be noted that it wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t easy for a fan to watch the event either. The main attraction is the herd of human nonsense that don’t give a damn about our beloved sport.
“The US Open is not about surfing”, that should be the new title. Bros and underage girls come here as a pilgrimage to act trashy. This year’s big fad was young teenage girls having bows tacked to the upper butt of their bikinis, like a tramp stamp with no commitment. Dudes and skanks writing filthy things on themselves in sharpie pens as a way to show their identity. It’s a nightmare and hopefully not a foreseeable future for other surf events. I believe it is the geographical location of this event, the close proximity to Hollywood and Los Angeles. Maybe now I will grow a beard and move to the frigid north to surf alone and bitch about the Beast.
Huntington Beach can’t do anything to stop this event from happening. The City needs it, the business needs it, the local shops need it, but surfing doesn’t need it. But it will go on, even after these riots. It will change a little, more police, new rules, but the Beast will move forward. The marketing machine can’t stop, not when profits are in control. A hundred Police were deployed and eight arrests were made, it wasn’t a huge riot compared to other things going on in the world, wasn’t big enough to ever completely shut this event down, but it is something that will make the locals look at this and say “what the fuck is really going on here?”
The Beast had the last laugh, it’s a shame it sounded like a roar.