The Quiksilver Pro was an unquestionable success for the City of Long Beach’s image, its businesses, and most importantly its residents. This is event that should be encouraged to come back every year, and serve as another memorable date on the Long Beach calendar of events that friends and families look forward to year after year. Read the first part here.
In the rancorous debate leading up to the Quiksilver Pro, people kept asking “well what do I get out of this.” After being at the event and around town everyday during the competition. I talked to dozens of tourists, residents, pros, and business,its safe to say the answer is actually “quite a lot.”
First off, any day from the first Saturday the pros were here through the next Sunday when they packed it up, the event sponsors like Zico and Vitamin Water were on the beach. At any time, you could walk up and get a free sample or a whole bottle. For free.
Further other sponsors rotated through giving out all sorts of fun, like magazines, hots, tees, and trinkets.
Surf lessons. Surf lessons usually go for around 100 an hour. On the first weekend of the event. Roxy ran free surf lessons 3 times a day, equipment included. I saw what must have been hundreds of young girls that got onto a surfboard for the first time that weekend and their parents didn’t have to pay a penny.
And oh yeah. I nearly forgot. A world class surf competition came to our beach, bringing the best pros in the business and presented it to the residents of Long Beach for free. No tickets, nothing. If you wanted to be front row at the Yankee playoffs – well good luck because it’s probably already sold out – but you could expect to spend hundreds on tickets, just to catch a lackluster glimpse of Jeter.
At the QPNY, you could walk down to the beach at any time and give Kelly Slater and Taj Burrow a high five before he paddled out for his heat (btw I did that, and I grinned likea little kid afterwards). What other sport, competing at it’s highest level allows for anything at all like this?
Quiksilver also brought even more surfing. The competition itself only ran from Tuesday through Friday, yet the pros came out for events like free surfs and Police vs. Firefighters surf comps to keep fans entertained on both weekends. Even though the waves weren’t pumping on those days, the people that have made their names being surfing pros put on a good show, just for the hell of it.
And to think, what else Quiksilver wanted to bring: concerts every day, the best athletes from other disciplines, and a host of additional events. Of course, all these other fun extras were planned to be completely free too.
I live right near event HQ and didn’t see any of the free “negatives” that were predictied to come along with it. Parking – if anything – was a bit better. The noise was there because construction and support trucks were constantly zipping between Edwards and National – but frankly, noise on broadway is nothing new. There weren’t roving bands of drunks or dangerous youths. Just a lot of free positive vibes from residents and surf spectators.
So thanks Quiksilver for all the freebies and we hope to see you next year.