A few weekends ago, Vans finally brought back their famed US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, CA. The yearly festivities had been canceled for the last couple of years for obvious reasons, but this summer, a bunch of beach-going degenerates finally got to descend upon Huntington once again for a weekend full of sunburns.
Truth be told, the Open is kind of a massive event that a lot of people we spoke to said they ended up at “by accident.” Most of it is just posting up on the beach or pier to watch surfers sit in the water and catch the occasional wave for hours on end. Luckily, Vans spiced things up a bit and offered a bunch of extra activities, like live surfboard shaping, free carnival games with prizes, musical instruments for public jam sessions, and a bunch more.
Among those extra bits was a free weekend-long skate “contest” that they dubbed “The Showdown” this year. The revamp of Vans Downtown Showdown is basically like the Dime Glory Challenge meets Tampa Pro, where a bunch of really good skaters who don’t usually skate in contests pulled up to have a low-stakes skate session for three days on some funky-looking obstacles. We were invited to come and check it out and do some coverage but since every media person and their mothers were there filming three angles of every trick, we tried to do something a little different.
Rather than stick around and watch every second of skating, we decided to lurk around the boardwalk and talk to the locals and see what they were up to amongst all the hubbub. We met a lot of bros and broettes, leathery old folk, silly groms, and plenty of other goofy characters while walking around for two days, so tune in above and see what the locals have to say about Huntington Beach and the skaters who descend upon their sacred town.
PLOTTING THE LIFECYCLE OF A TRENDY TRICK
"Pressure flips are cool again. Actually, their second act has lasted longer than their first did."
WILL TIKTOK BE THE NEW HOME FOR SKATEBOARDING ON THE INTERNET?
We called up some "skate TikTokers" to find out what they've learned and seen so far.
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WITH ILLEGAL CIV?
The Illegal Civ stuff feels like an ongoing soap opera, so to air out any confusion we talked to a few key characters.
CHECKING OUT A HIDDEN DIY FINGERBOARD PARK IN QUEENS
When we heard about a mysterious concrete fingerboard park hiding in Brooklyn, we knew we had to go find it.
INSIDE THE 20 YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY OF EMERICA’S “THIS IS SKATEBOARDING”
We stopped by to pay our respects and see if we could squeeze a few stories out of the crew.