The US Open is coming! The US Open is coming!
No, not that US Open. That one, the US Open of Surfing, is still a couple months away.
This weekend, running from Friday through Sunday, is the US Open of Bodyboarding — also known by its long version title, the 2011 Sports Chalet US Open presented by Morey Bodyboards. It's part of the Ocean Current USBA National Championship Tour presented by Dune's.
No, it's not surfing, but these guys and girls are growing their sport in their own right. And they like to make it clear — this is not surfing's little brother.
"A good analogy is the Kings and the Lakers," said Jason Bitzer, the operations manager and founder of the USBA Tour. "They play in the same arena, but it's not the same sport. They are separate entities with different aspects to competing and different dynamics.
"Over the years, the surfing industry has gotten so strong, and bodyboarding has gone through a phase where it was under the radar from the mainstream media. But thanks to our sponsors, we've been able to start new, start fresh, and we've progressively grown. And we're seeing some crazy stuff by these athletes. We're strong today."