Are the beaches closed off to spectators for the Hurley Pro?
September 15, 2011 7:49 PM   Subscribe

The ASP World Tour/Hurley Pro is going to be at San Onofre State Beach over the next week. Are the heats closed to public spectators?

I know I'd get a better view from the live stream, but I'm curious to see what it's like in person. If it's a closed event, is there some high point nearby where I could take it in? Would there even be any point to doing so at that distance?
posted by millions of peaches to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total)
I've never heard of a pro surfing contest that's closed to the public. Also, it's a state beach.
posted by rdr at 8:27 PM on September 15, 2011

No, it's not closed. If you can find a place to park you're more than welcome to stand on the beach and watch the heats and listen to the announcers on the PA. You can even try to get pros to sign things for you at the end of their heats, but this works best if you're a little kid. At last week's Quiksilver Pro in New York Jeremy Flores walked up to a random kid on the beach after his heat, and asked him "Do you surf?" When the kid said he did, Flores just gave him his board (it was a board he'd just lost on, but still).

here's a photo set from last week's contest in New York. You'll see plenty of spectators on the beach. The Hurley Pro will be similar.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:08 PM on September 15, 2011

I haven't been to this competition but I have been to the U.S. Open of Surfing a few times. It's always free, open to the public, and crowded so I say definitely go and get there early to get a good spot!
posted by platinum at 9:12 PM on September 15, 2011

I should also add that the best surfing conditions in California are usually in the morning. Often contests get called in the afternoon if the wind comes up and makes the waves choppy, which is not generally good for surfing. They resume the next day.

Normally it takes 3-4 days to run a contest. Obviously, the last day will be most exciting because that's when the finals will happen and only the best surfers are left int he competition. Usually the last day is a short day, though, because they only have a few heats left to run, and the contest is generally over by noon. So, to see the absolute best surfing get there early int he day on the later days of the contest.

Also, you can follow the contest via live webcast here:
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:18 PM on September 15, 2011

Oops, no auto link on MeFi.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:18 PM on September 15, 2011

SO EXCITED. Thanks everyone for answering my dumb question. I fell in love with surfing a short while ago and I can't get enough of seeing or hearing about it.
posted by millions of peaches at 10:55 PM on September 15, 2011

One final thing to mention, and although you might already know it, this one is important: Make sure you check the website and see if the contest is actually running before you drive down there. If the wave are small the first day or two of the waiting period they may choose to delay the start of the contest. Based on Surfline's current forecast, though, this likely won't be the case -- they'll probably start the event on the first day unless the forecast changes.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 11:48 PM on September 15, 2011

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