Huntington Beach was as packed as ever for the 2015 Vans US Open of Surfing, with thousands of fans and surfers from all over the world converging on this iconic Californian surf sport for a week of surf, skate, music and buckets of fun. If you took a gamble and backed the winners of the men’s and women’s event chances are you would have won big, because the underdogs stole the show this year. Despite plenty of American’s surfing in the event this year, it was a young ripper from Japan who took home the men’s trophy and a Championship Tour newbie from France who left with the women’s trophy.
Hiroto Ohhara and Johanne Defay Get a Taste of the Podium
In the men’s WQS event 18-year-old Hiroto Ohhara managed his best career performance to date, and also achieved the best WSL result of any Japanese surfer, ever. Let’s see if he can successfully defend his new trophy next year. In the women’s Championship Tour event, 21-year-old Johanne Defay, who only started on the professional world tour last year, managed to nail her first event win. To see the highlights of the men’s and women’s surfing on finals day sit back and play the next video.
Toledo Couldn’t Strike Twice
A few of the guys currently on the Championship Tour turned up to compete in the event, one of them being Brazilian aerial wizard Felipe Toledo. He wanted to defend his title after winning at the 2014 Vans US Open of Surfing, and he was doing a pretty good job of it as he progressed through the round stages. Watch this corked out frontside air he nailed in Round 2, earning him a score of 9.10.
But things didn’t keep getting better for Toledo as he went into the semifinals. Up against Tanner Hendrickson from Hawaii, it was neck and neck between the two surfers. Tanner kept the lead and it seemed like it was just a matter of time until Toledo pulled something out of his bag of tricks to win the heat. Much to Tanner’s delight Toledo just couldn’t quite come back with a big enough score, and Toledo’s last wave was just 0.18 of a point shy of taking out Tanner. Toledo was visibly furious, storming out of the water and not even shaking his competitors hand. He later cooled down and congratulated Tanner with a hug, so he wasn’t such a bad loser after all. Hats off to Tanner Hendrickson, who surfed a good game throughout the contest. Just check out this wave from Round 3 where he takes it between the pier.
It Wasn’t All Just Surfing
Even though it is the Vans US Open of Surfing, each year pro skateboarders are welcomed to thrash a sick bowl at the Van Doren Invitational. This year the skaters pushed it even harder and boosted even higher than the last, and its hard to describe how awesome the skating was on finals day, so just watch the video and see for yourself!
Coming Up Next…
So the 2015 Vans US Open of Surfing is all wrapped up, but the surfing action from the WSL never stops for long. Soon the 2015 Billabong Pro Tahiti will kick off, where we’ll get to see the world’s best take on the gaping barrels of Teahupo’o. Here’s the trailer to get you frothing…