The 2013 US Open of Surfing kicks off in Huntington Beach

July 23, 2013 | Surfing
Kelly Slater: he loves Huntington Beach

Kelly Slater snatched the highest score of the day in opening round of the 2013 Vans US Open of Surfing, at Huntington Beach Pier.

In pulsing four-to-six foot (1.5 metre) waves, the 11-time ASP world champion found committed backhand trumps to win his Round 1 clash against Nathan Yeomans, Heath Joske and Jean Da Silva.

"This event has a long history. You get the best juniors, best pros and it's one of the best fields of the year as far as Primes go. It's a competitive contest", explains Slater.

"You get guys that you don't see in lots of contests and they'll do well, young guys busting big airs and then the crowds can be intimidating, but you get used to it after awhile".

Michel Bourez stormed through his opening heat at the Vans US Open of Surfing, unloading powerful backhand combinations to take an impressive 16.00 heat total. The talented Tahitian enters the event with a relaxed approach following a successful first half among the ASP Top 34.

"I'm just back from Bali and waves were amazing over there. The waves were amazing out here for my heat too. Following Bali, I went home and was training at a beachbreak to get used to similar conditions and it worked well", says Bourez.

Julian Wilson, defending event champion, started his campaign in strong form with a commanding Round 1 victory. The talented natural-footer took to the rights during his early-morning heat, earning a 14.77 heat total to secure the win.

"I felt pretty good, but I didn't feel in synch with the waves. With 30 minutes, I knew there would be plenty of waves and I knew I'd get my chances. My board feels really good and I knew that if I got two fun rights I could make scores".