Huntington Beach is Surf City once again.
After a year-long hiatus, a surf contest was held on the south side of the iconic pier – the first competitive surfing event to be held in Orange County since the coronavirus pandemic put a halt to sports.
The two-day USA Surfing contest that kicked off on Saturday, Feb. 20, drew more than 100 of the best up-and-coming junior surfers for an event that helps the under-18 wave-riders prove their surf skills in the chilly water.
Safety protocols were put in place, such as asking competitors not to congregate and sanitizing jerseys between heats. Surfing is one of a few sports allowed in the purple tier because it is a no-contact activity that takes place outdoors.
Prior to the event, on Friday, Feb. 19, USA Surfing coach Brett Simpson trained in Huntington Beach with the junior national team, which earned gold in 2019.
The USA West Coast Prime series is just one of several surf events slotted to happen this year, as restrictions ease across the state. The National Scholastic Surfing Association will hold its 2020 West Coast Championships, which were supposed to happen last July, in Oceanside later this month.