Corky Carroll

July is why crowds converge on Surf City

First off, Happy 4th of July everybody. See you at the parties later on, I am invited right? Remember to have fun yet be safe O.K. I can't afford to lose any readers. Taxis are cheaper than caskets.

July is the big month for surfing here in Orange County. It's the time that the big dog and kitty surf show comes to Huntington Beach each year. And this year is the biggest yet with not only the 50th anniversary of the United States Championships but also the 100th anniversary of Huntington "Surf City" Beach.

It's like a surfathon festival for the ages. There is even a surfing contest for dogs. Yes, the four-legged tail-wagging kind. It's just one fun deal after the next.

The big event is the Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing running from July 18th through the 26th. It's named this year for the sponsor company, Hurley International. I like to see this because the founder of that group is a local kid, Bob Hurley. Bob is a good surfer, former shaper and O.C. local. Perfect match for the Open.

Zillions of you are gonna flock down to Huntington Beach that week to see this event -- many from local areas but also many coming from farther away. This is for those of you who would like to make the most of your visit to "Surfin' U.S.A. 2009."

First off you are gonna want to take the time to really check this event out. There are so many things that go on during this week. The best thing is to stay around and soak in the whole adventure. Check into a local hotel and make it a vacation. My choice would be the brand new SHOREBREAK HOTEL at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and 5th Street. This is two blocks from the pier and easy walking distance to everything.

Not only is it a beautiful hotel but also it has a great restaurant/bar called Zimzala. You might see me there. If ya do it's totally cool to say hi and buy me a drink, hahahaha. (No really).

Next you are gonna want to get a schedule of events, easily obtainable at the contest area below the pier on the south side. Pick out the surfers you might want to see in the early rounds. And it's a good idea to watch them in the early rounds, as you can never count on who will be there in the end.

This year's early crowd favorite is three-time U.S. Open Champion Rob Machado. Rob is looking to be the first to win it four times. This is meaningful to me as I also won it three times. It's kinda like being one of those dudes who has held a record for a long time and then some new hot young ace comes along and is all set to break it.

On the outside you are all, "good luck, I wish you well." But inside you are going, "catch a rail you chump." (Not really, Rob is a great guy and great surfer and I hope he wins).

Along with the surfing event itself there's all kinda of other stuff to check out. On Thursday morning there will be the inductions into the SURFERS WALK OF FAME held in front of Jack's Surf Shop at the corner of P.C.H. and Main Street. My pal Mark Martinson is being honored as Surf Champion this year.

Then on Friday morning they will hold the inductions into the SURFERS HALL OF FAME on the other corner, across the street, in front of Huntington Surf 'n Sport. Jeff Hackman, Joey Buran, Pat O'Connel and legendary surf movie mogul Bruce Brown are getting inducted. Both are events you will want to take in.

There is so much more. The whole week is a total babefest. Some of you may be interested in watching some of that action along with the surfing stuff. But no matter what it is that you are out there to view it's important that you be prepared.

Put on a ton of sunblock BEFORE you go outside. Then put some more on when you get outside and take it with you to put some more on later. One of those little tubes of lipblock is good to have in your pocket because you can also use that on your nose and face.

Sunglasses are a big must. The glare off of the ocean will burn your eyes. Besides, they are good to conceal the real direction you happen to be looking just in case you are making an attempt at being stealth. (Are thongs still in?) And a hat is a good idea too.

Drink lots of water. Have fun, I will see you there.