Connor Coffin Interview
The US Open takes place in Huntington Beach, California. And the south side of the HB pier calls out to some of the best surfers from all across the globe. Santa Barbara local Conner Coffin has been making the short drive down for more than half his life. Here he explains what it takes to thrive in a singlet.—Alex Ryden
What’s your strategy been for this contest?
Just post two good solid scores. The lefts that have been breaking a little further down from where everyone’s been sitting have been looking really fun, so I just sort of just aim to sit in that area.
Do you feel pretty comfortable out there?
Definitely. I’ve surfed a bunch of heats this week already, so it’s been really slow and I’ve had to adjust to that. But I’ve adjusted. Now there are waves and it’s a bit bigger. I’m definitely comfortable.
What’s the magic board dimensions for this wave?
I’ve ridden the same board, every day and every heat: a 5’9” Fred Rubble model. I love it. Nice and wide, so easy to ride. Same exact dimensions as I rode out here last year. I just feel good on it and it’s so fun.
Who’s the main guy to beat right now?
Everyone (laughs). The semis are going to be hard. But I feel good. Same plan as I’ve had the whole time, just try to go out and get two solid score.
What maneuver do you think is getting the biggest score?
Everyone is doing a lot of airs these days, so I feel like it’s pretty fresh to see someone do big turns. That’s been my strategy. But obviously if I get good air sections I’ll try some airs. Turns are just fun for me and it seems like the judges have been scoring them pretty well here.
Are you catching any of the other action at the US Open besides surfing?
I love this place, but honestly I come down here to watch one heat and I feel like I ran a marathon. Between running through the dust clouds and all the people and the sweating, it really takes the energy out of you. I’ll probably watch the contest from somewhere with AC tomorrow (laughs).
How do you feel about coming up against the hometown favorite Kanoa Igarashi in the semi finals?
Kanoa has been surfing insane and doing such good airs. He’s so young so it’s just really rad. I mean, he smoked me the other day in a heat when the waves were barely breaking. It’s fun to surf against him and I’ve been doing it for a long time. He’s really getting a lot better and that’s pretty cool.
Do you enjoy surfing this contest?
Obviously I’m from Santa Barbara so it’s not really hometown for me. I don’t have all my friends down here cheering me on, which would be rad. But being in California it feels like home and I’ve surfed a million contests here so I’ve gotten to know the wave pretty well.
Do you like when people run up to you for autographs?
Let’s just say I don’t really surf here between heats (laughs).
--Casey Koteen, Transworld Surf