The Simpo Life

[2010 U.S. Open of Surfing] Brett Simpson might be the most popular guy in Huntington Beach

Buoyed by local fan support, Simpson won the 2009 Surfer of the Year award. And this year, he’ll be considered one of the Open’s contenders no matter which legendary surfers show up. The 2010 competition is stacked: Veterans such as Australian Rob Machado, a three-time winner at the Open, and Slater, considered the greatest ASP surfer of all time, will be competing alongside up-and-comers such as Fanning, Jordy Smith of South Africa and Andy Irons of Hawaii.

And local pressure is on Simpson to win it again. If he does, he’ll only increase his local-legend status, as no surfer has won the U.S. Open two years in a row. But, no matter what happens, Simpson knows why he keeps coming back to the Open, and it’s not just for the wins.

“Not everyone gets to surf at their home break. There’s only so many contests, and not everyone’s from that area, so that’s what’s so meaningful to all of the locals and to myself,” Simpson says. “[The support] gives you every little bit of energy you didn’t have. Even when you’re sitting back and feeling a little tired, you’re still pumped up.”

Simpson in competition last year
Courtesy U.S. Open of Surfing
Simpson in competition last year

Even if all Simpson does at the Open is simply be “Simpo,” the Huntington Beach boy will still get the loudest cheers.

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