While World Surf League (WSL) betting fans wait for the highly anticipated SHISEIDO Tahiti Pro Championship Tour (CT) event to begin this coming August 11th there is some business to take care of in Surf City USA first. That’s right, it’s time for the US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach CA!
Love it or leave it, there’s no denying the relevance of this event as it has gone from Qualifying Series to Challenger Series status on the WSL schedule. There will be an eclectic selection of contenders on deck this year. The roster ranges from WSL elite who want to cement their spot on the CT next season, all the way down to sticker-less surfers who are vying for some recognition on a grand stage. To help you narrow down your picks for the Men’s side of the competition we have laid out our 2023 US Open of Surfing odds and predictions below. Who should you bet on? Let’s find out!
Betting Preview for the WSL Challenger Series Wallex US Open of Surfing Men’s Competition Running from July 29 to August 6 2023
Where: Huntington Beach, California, USA
When: Contest period runs from July 29 to August 6, 2023
Betting Lines: View WSL betting odds
Streaming Broadcast: WSL website / WSL YouTube
Sponsor: Presented by Wallex
Online Commentary: BeachGrit
Kanoa Igarashi: 4/6 Odds
Challenger Series Ranking: N/A
CT superstar Kanoa Igarashi has not competed on the Challenger Series this season, unlike last year when he completed in three, including the US Open of Surfing. However, Huntington Beach is his hometown despite what the Nisshōki symbol on his jersey has to say about this nationality, and we fully expect him to suit up during the break in the CT schedule. Kanoa was raised surfing the south side of the HB pier and his results at the US Open of Surfing speak to this pedigree. Sure, he didn’t make the podium in 2022, but he was focused on making the Top 5 for the WSL Finals (he did) which likely distracted him to a 25th place finish. Now that Igarashi sits in the No.13 spot on the WSL CT he can refocus on the remaining Challenger Series on home turf. The local hero claimed back-to-back victories at the US Open of Surfing in 2017 and 2018. If Kanoa shows up, he will more than likely win the event to make up for his otherwise lackluster season. Monitor the heat draw accordingly and wager on an Igarashi win if you see his name on the docket.
Samuel Pupo: 4/6 Odds
Challenger Series Ranking: No.6
Forget all of the hoopla surrounding the WSL Challenger Series top-ranked Cole Houshmand and instead focus on No.6 Samuel Pupo. The 22 year year old Brazilian is superior than all other Challenger Series contenders when it comes to surfing Huntington Beach summertime slop. He has proven himself on the CS as he heads into the US Open of Surfing with a 1st place finish at the Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro. Moreover, he has a leg up on the competition thanks to the elite level experience that he has under his belt. Before getting booted from the CT after the mid-season cut, Pupo nabbed a 5th place finish at the MEO Rip Curl Portugal Pro and received another 5th as a wildcard at the recent VIVO Rio Pro. He stayed on the CT throughout the entire 2022 season where he also enjoyed two 5th places results at prestigious events – the Billabong Pro Pipeline and the Corona J-Bay Open. Admittedly, Samuel Pupo has not performed well at the US Open in the past, but he is hungry to rejoin his older brother Miguel on the Championship Tour in 2024. A win at the 2023 US Open of Surfing will secure that goal.
Cole Houshmand: 5/1 Odds
Challenger Series Ranking: No.1
We know what we said above in our pick of Samuel Pupo as a Challenger Series favorite to win the US Open of Surfing, and we stand by it. But we suppose we can’t ignore how well No.1-ranked Cole Houshmand has done on the Challenger Series in 2023. Wave-hound Houshmand won the last two Challenger Series events this year, including the GWM Sydney Surf Pro and the Ballito Pro. Those who prefer to bet on statistics versus their hearts should lay some cash of Cole Houshmand to win the 2023 US Open of Surfing, even though we have a feeling that he may crumble for this event.
Crosby Colapinto: 8/1 Odds
Challenger Series Ranking: No.13
Older brother Griffin Colapinto has locked in his spot on the Top 5 to complete at the WSL Finals at Lower Trestles. Now it’s time for younger sibling Crosby to shine. He has already polished himself a sheen this season by winning the QS Barbado Surf Pro, and coming in 5th at the very recent Jack’s Surfboards Pro which ran in Huntington Beach. He won the same event in 2019, so he has proven his chops in surfing contests at the HB pier. As far as the Challenger Series is concerned, Crosby made the Semifinals at the 2023 Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro. Colapinto may not be a strong favorite, but he is certainly above sleeper pick status.
Ezekiel Lau: 10/1 Odds
Challenger Series Ranking: No.46
As far as a propensity for hanging around the WSL CT, Hawaiian Ezekiel Lau comes in second only to Brazil’s Jadsen Andre. After falling on and off of the Tour, Zeke simply won’t go away. Given that the WSL needs more Hawaiian representation we don’t want him to. But does Lau have what it takes to eventually get back on the Tour beginning with a Challenger Series win at the 2023 US Open of Surfing? Absolutely. Zeke won the US Open of Surfing last year. Don’t be surprised to see him win it again, especially now that he has a new baby to support!
Jake Marshall: 15/1 Odds
Challenger Series Ranking: No.23
Jake Marshall is another professional surfer who has tasted WSL CT life and wants back on Tour ASAP. That campaign begins by improving his position on the Challenger Series with a win at the 2023 US Open. The Encinitas native knows how to perform in beach breaks, and has proven so by coming in 2nd at the 2021 US Open before losing to Griffin Colapinto. Marshall has gained top level experience over the last couple of years which makes him a promising sleeper pick to bet on.
Kolohe Andino: 20/1 Odds
Challenger Series Ranking: No.46
We honestly feel bad for calling Kolohe Andino a long shot to win a Challenger Series event after being a mainstay on the WSL Championship Tour for so long. How the mighty (sort of) have fallen and all of that. Alas, the US Open of Surfing is a young man’s / woman’s game, and at 29 years old and some disgruntled-ness to go along with his blonde stubble, Andino has become a shell of his former self. That being said, there’s some spark left behind those blue eyes along with a string of reasonable performances in Huntington Beach. Andino came in 5th at the US Open in 2021, 2018, and 2015 along with a 2nd place finish way back in 2013 and a 3rd in 2011. We’re rooting for this journeyman to return to the potential that he once had to be among the best in the world of professional surfing.
2023 WSL US OPEN OF SURFING MEN’S WINNER PREDICTION
Samuel Pupo shoots up the ladder of the Challenger Series by winning the 2023 US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach CA. Sign up to make your wagers accordingly!