The 2022 Vans US Open of Surfing: World’s Largest Action Sports Festival Concludes in Surf City U.S.A.

The 2022 Vans US Open of Surfing: World’s Largest Action Sports Festival Concludes in Surf City U.S.A.

Aug 07, 2022


  • Nine-Day Event Culminates with Final Rounds of WSL Challenger Series: Hawaiians Ezekiel Lau and Bettylou Sakura Johnson Crowned as Champions in Front of a Packed Beach;
  • Taylor Jensen and Kelis Kaleopaʻa Win Vans Duct Tape Invitational;
  • Hayley Wilson and Jhancarlos Gonzalez Victorious at the Vans Showdown;
  • Perris Benegas and Kevin Peraza Dominate Women’s & Men’s BMX Waffle Cup

Huntington Beach, Calif. / USA (August 7, 2022) — The 2022 Vans US Open of Surfing (VUSOS) came to a close in Huntington Beach, Calif. today after nine days of world-class surfing, skateboarding and BMX competitions as well as a full calendar of engaging creative activities for the entire family. Celebrating the quintessential Southern California beach culture, the world’s largest action sports festival welcomed large crowds who flocked to the pier to cheer on their favorite surfers and filled the Vans Skatepark across the sand. Anchoring the nine-day festival were the World Surf League’s Challenger Series, Vans Duct Tape Invitational and the Vans Showdown. The event footprint spanned 13 acres of beach on the south side of the Huntington Beach Pier from July 30 through August 7, 2022.

Large crowds pack the beach for the final day of the Vans US Open of Surfing on Sunday, August 7, 2022 in Huntington Beach, Calif. Photo: Vans / Celina Kenyon Large crowds pack the beach for the final day of the Vans US Open of Surfing on Sunday, August 7, 2022 in Huntington Beach, Calif. - Vans / Celina Kenyon

Over the course of the event, Vans’ Vice President of Promotions and Events, Steve Van Doren, thanked fans by grilling more than 11,000 hot dogs and 2,500 sliders during lunchtime every day in the Van Doren Village. The theme of this year’s Vans US Open of Surfing focused on the importance of environmental responsibility with eco-consciousness integrated into the activations, showcasing the connection of sustainability with surf culture and surf products.

World Surf League’s Challenger Series (Men & Women)

The Vans US Open of Surfing showcased the fourth stop of the WSL Challenger Series with 160 of the world’s best and rising talent who competed for Championship Tour qualification.

Following a massive Finals day of competition, Hawaiians Bettylou Sakura Johnson and ABC’s “Ultimate Surfer” champion Ezekiel Lau were crowned victors of the World Surf League (WSL) Challenger Series. Sakura Johnson and Lau took critical wins at the halfway mark of the Challenger Series season in their mission to rejoin the Championship Tour (CT). Australia’s Macy Callaghan and Brazil’s Joao Chianca came in second.

Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) and Ezekial Lau (HAW) were crowned the winners of the World Surf League’s Challenger Series at the Vans US Open of Surfing on Sunday, August 7, 2022 in Huntington Beach, Calif. Photo: WSL / Morris Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW) and Ezekial Lau (HAW) were crowned the winners of the World Surf League’s Challenger Series at the Vans US Open of Surfing on Sunday, August 7, 2022 in Huntington Beach, Calif. - WSL / Morris

“I’m so stoked, I’ve always wanted to win the US Open, it’s been an event I’ve watched since I was a young kid,”

“I’m so stoked, I’ve always wanted to win the US Open, it’s been an event I’ve watched since I was a young kid,” said Lau. “Andy Irons won a few years back, he was my role model, and this is for him and Sunny and all the Hawaiians. When Bettylou won her’s (Final heat) I was like, it’s up to me now, I gotta put this away.”

“It’s been a long week here at Huntington, but I have all the support and everything I need, I’m healthy, I’ve been training for this, I’m super fortunate to take the win,” said Sakura Johnson. “It gives me a ton of confidence (winning the event). This is one of the biggest events we have on the Challenger Series, everyone is here watching. I’ve always wanted to win a comp out here and I'm super stoked I was able to do it today.”

Hayley Wilson and Jhancarlos Gonzalez Victorious at the Vans Showdown

For the second time at Huntington Beach, the local skate community witnessed the Vans Showdown, a unique “pointless” street skating contest, far removed from traditional skate formats. Aiming to promote the fun and cultural side of skateboarding, while showcasing the best skaters in the world, it was Hayley Wilson and Jhancarlos Gonzalez who came out on top.

Big thanks to the skate community and brand partners Quasi, Palace, Alltimers, Spitfire, Baker, and Hockey for making today a memorable moment in the history of street skateboarding.

Nick Michel at the Vans US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, Calif. on Aug 7, 2022. Photo: Acosta / Vans Nick Michel at the Vans US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, Calif. on Aug 7, 2022. - Acosta / Vans

Vans Duct Tape Invitational

Two-time WSL Longboard Tour champion and reigning Vans Duct Tape Invitational winner Kelis Kaleopa’a (HAW) and three-time World Champion Taylor Jensen (USA) topped the podium at the second of three stops for WSL Longboard Tour.

Kaleopa’a defeated three-time WSL Longboard Champion Honolua Blomfield in a head-to-head Hawaiian Final. Kaniela Stewart, also representing Hawaii, was runner-up to Jensen in the men’s competition.

“I tried to pick clean rights, make sure I got the reform, finish strong and put it all together, said Jensen. “These are all the best surfers in the world. I’ve had a couple bad results so to get a win here close to home sets me up for going to Malibu and I’m happy with where I am.”

Kelis Kaleopa'a (HAW) takes home another Vans Duct Tape Invitational win at the Vans US Open of Surfing on Sunday, August 7, 2022 in Huntington Beach, Calif. Photo: WSL / Ryder Kelis Kaleopa'a (HAW) takes home another Vans Duct Tape Invitational win at the Vans US Open of Surfing on Sunday, August 7, 2022 in Huntington Beach, Calif. - WSL / Ryder

“Hugging my cousin (Stewart) in the water after that final was just so heartwarming,”said Kaleopa’a. “Literally my whole entire family and friends and our surf community back at home are my motivation when I’m out here because we come from such a special place. I grew up my entire life surfing around my uncles and aunties, I do this for them as a thank you for introducing me to this sport, this passion I love so much.”

Kevin Peraza and Perris Benegas Claim First-Ever Vans BMX Waffle Cup Victory

With excited crowds last weekend, the first-ever Vans BMX Waffle Cup street competition held on American soil concluded its final rounds, awarding decorated riders Kevin Peraza and Perris Benegas as the event’s overall winners. The course featured obstacles designed by BMX partners & associated Non profit organizations, The Bloom, Radshare and Cult BMX. Showcasing over 50 of the world’s best BMX riders, the Vans BMX Waffle Cup also celebrates originality, style and innovation. The 2022 Vans BMX Waffle Cup champions prize parity for competitors and matching podium winnings for men and women.

Perris Benegas competes in the Vans BMX Waffle Cup on Sunday. Photo: Jeff Zielinski Perris Benegas competes in the Vans BMX Waffle Cup on Sunday. - Jeff Zielinski

“A weekend full of amazing riding and good times! It was so good having the community back together. I’m so honored to be leaving the Vans Waffle Cup with the win. The support from Vans in BMX is unreal. Seeing The Bloom BMX’s feature was so special showcasing their endless support in women’s BMX. Something truly special and I’m grateful to have been a part of it. Best event of the year so far,” said Benegas.


Recognized as the largest professional sports competition and action sports festival in the world, the Vans US Open of Surfing is currently sanctioned by the World Surf League and operated in conjunction with IMG, the event owner. Official partners of this year's event include Vans, Visit Huntington Beach, Red Bull, Flying Embers, Hydro Flask, Shiseido, 805, Pacifico, Sambazon, StillHouse, Youtheory, BF Goodrich, Fu Wax, Boxed Water, and Just Egg.

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