HUNTINGTON BEACH ( — It’s that time of the year again, the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing has arrived to Huntington Beach. The 9-day event runs through August 6, and features over 300 world class athletes including the best surfers, BMX riders and skateboarders from across the world.

Large swells are expected throughout the weekend as Hurricane Hilary and Irwin has enhanced surf for the competition. An advisory has been issued for the South to Southeast facing beaches, but surfers will continue to compete despite the warning.

Thousands of people have been flocking to Surf City USA to watch the annual competition, a tradition since 1959. ” We want to see the surfers, it’s like the best we’ve ever seen. ” says one of the spectators. “We just like seeing the really great surfers from all over the world. It’s absolutely really spectacular, highly recommend it.”

The family-friendly event is free and features outdoor movie showings, exhibits on the sand, art installations and athlete meet & greets.