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Paige Hareb takes in the US Open of madness




Paige's Page

"I get pretty annoyed with the crowds sometimes..."

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 6 August, 2014 - It never has the best waves on tour. It never will, yet we keep coming back. Two reasons that fit simply together - crowds and sponsors. The main sponsor Vans, nailed it again making a mini city on Huntington Beach welcoming around half a million people to flock there within a week. Huntington is definitely a love/hate relationship for me.

I get pretty annoyed with the crowds sometimes, being little I get squeezed roughly between teenage girls with minimal material on and huge sweaty guys with their shirts off and writing on them saying things like “free hugs and kisses” or arrows pointing downwards saying ah well you can imagine! Coming from a small town of about 4000 people it’s pretty much extreme opposite of what I’m used to, so yeah, I do get a little freaked out here every year, I can’t get used to the zoo!

On the other hand, people watching is great, there are so many different people in this world and you can see them all in one spot, it really does open your eyes. I love the cheap breakfast and bottomless coffee, the walkway along the whole coast so you can bike to anywhere - might I add I love the freedom of not having to wear a helmet. Back to the wave, I feel like a lot of the surfers hear the words Huntington Beach and have negative thoughts about it straight away including myself but sometimes it surprises me.



I had a lot of fun in my free surfs and heats there this year. It was still the standard two turns out the back if you’re lucky, famous Huntington hop and then if you’re really lucky that your thunder thighs worked hard enough to get you through that fat section then you might get a little tap on the shore break. I don’t think I could write a script like that for any other wave in the world unless it was complete opposite 6ft Macaronis perfect barrel every time. With that boring script, I had fun!

I’m sure all the people on the beach did too who, majority were more worried about picking up and getting free hats etc than who was the US champ. I think I’ve said this before but I would rather watch places like Fiji or J-Bay but at the end of the day Huntington Beach is part of variety. It’s part of our amazing ASP World Tour that is helping form a well-rounded World Champion. Us surfers need this location just as much as the sponsors.

With four events to go on the ASP Women’s World Tour, things are looking pretty tight at both ends. It’s going to be so good to watch the title race between Carissa Moore, Tyler Wright, Sally Fitzgibbons and Stephanie Gilmore. Any one of them have got the talent to grasp it. Meanwhile I’m down the ranks battling it out to finish in the top 10 and traveling extra following the World qualifying series to finish in the top 6 of that. My goal is to double qualify so this next three month stint I’m doing is a huge focus time for me. I really want to be on the tour next year for my seventh consecutive year, I’m not done yet!

Paige Hareb

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