Taylor Knox Rides High at US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach


Huntington Beach --On day five of the US Open in Huntington Beach, Kelly Slater paddled out near the HB Pier, the tension began to mount and anticipation was high as world class surfers


For the first time in five years, nine-time world champ Kelly Slater slipped on a jersey at Huntington Beach, paddled out near the pier, and amazed the crowd. He wasted no time in showing us what we've been missing when he found the best-looking right of the afternoon under the pilings, laid into three huge hacks, and posted a 9.3. Kelly, riding an experimental, dual-stringered quad, was typically humble in his assessment. "Why did I win?" he said. "Because I found the best wave. There weren't many like that out there."

With weekend-size crowds on the beach to watch Slater's debut, it almost felt like a Saturday at HB. But with two WPS All Star Expression Sessions coming up, a massive summer swell and all the beach events at The Festival, it boggles the imagination as to how big the Hurley US Open will get. We can count on one thing: there will be no shortage of spectators at this, the 50th year of a major surf event in Surf City.

Today, it was all about center stage, with two rounds of Womens and four afternoon heat of Mens in the Round of 96. Two-time world champ Stephanie Gilmore headlined a star-packed female lineup, winning her heat. "HB is gnarly, dude!" she said in her best American accent.

Other Women's standouts included Coco Ho, who posted another 9, Sally Fitzgibbons and Carissa Moore. The Women got the best of the conditions today as tide and favorable winds offered punchy, head-high peaks well past noon.

But in the men, it was all about Slater as HB and surf fans anticipated his arrival from Jeffreys Bay. He just landed yesterday, is all settled in, and ready to put on a show this weekend.

That show will be webcasted live at hurley.com/usopen




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