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Sustainability and gender pay take center stage at US Open of Surfing

Nearing the beginning of August, many sports enthusiasts plan their fantasy football leagues to fill the last months of summer with baseball games and prepare for another Premier League campaign. But the action sports community has taken a different route, choosing to watch the best compete in Surf City, USA.

The Vans US Open of Surfing brings together the best of surfing, BMX and skateboarding talent for nine days of intense competition in Huntington Beach, California. The space near the pier transforms into a hub for enthusiastic competitors and spectators, with many pop-up shops and exhibits in between.

Vans has always remained at the core of action sports, but now the athletic clothing brand is expanding its efforts to also focus on sustainability. Just as other venues (Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena, for example) have made environmental protection an important part of their long-term strategy, Vans has ensured that its footprint in action sports spills over to equally important issues. I’m here. The California-based company has hired some of its famous athlete ambassadors to spread its sustainability message.

“Being from Hawaii, the environment has always played a special role in our lives,” Vans athlete and pro surfer Pua DeSoto told Yahoo Sports. say they are like brothers and sisters. Kaiquaana translated into Hawaiian. Our job, or everyone’s job, is to protect and nurture this land for future generations to enjoy. ”

In addition to producing apparel and footwear primarily using recycled content, Vans will make 100% of the top four CO2 impacting materials renewable, responsibly sourced and renewable by 2030 Or promised to recycle. In Orange County and Hawaii, our focus is on clean water, coastal restoration projects and beach cleanups.

Reinforcing the Importance of Surfing and Debating Fair Pay for the 2028 Summer Olympics

Just as the debate around gender equality and closing the pay gap has shaped the WNBA and women’s football, similar debates are taking place in surfing.

Action Sport senior marketing manager Justin Villano told Yahoo Sports that in the future, efforts to ensure male, female and non-binary athletes are paid equally may be mandated. I’m here.

“It’s about structuring the dollar so that it’s evenly distributed,” Villano said. “If the male winner receives $50,000 for 1st place, the female or non-binary winner should receive the same. It’s something we’ve been working on, and I think from a cultural standpoint, we’ve led it within the action sports space.”

At just 16 years old, Pua DeSoto is already one of the most recognizable names in surfing. (Photo: Buns)

Surfing culture has seen a resurgence in the last few years, from last summer’s treatment of the Olympics to the many recent documentaries centered around that culture. Just as fans of the NFL and his WNBA have identified their favorite players, the surf enthusiast has a roster of players to love. Ask most people, and DeSoto is near or at the top of that list.

The 16-year-old has been exposed to the sport since she was 6 months old and has been a surfing prodigy for years. The Hawaiian native, who is eager to compete in her 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, told Yahoo Sports that she doesn’t “feel the pressure” of being a wizard, and that she wants to use her platform. said he is focused on leading a new generation of young people with , female surfer.

“Surfing is who I am. “But I’m just trying to be the best version of myself so I can empower and inspire others to do the same.”

Like all athletes, there is immense pride in representing your country. The US Open of Surfing had an unprecedented 40% Hawaiian participation this year. DeSoto touted it as a good sign of increased exposure on American television.

“This is very important to us and shows what is to come. It’s like if a competition were held in South Africa, we would want at least four or five natives to attend. Isn’t that right? Vans certainly gets a lot of recognition everywhere he goes. I’m grateful to be part of a team that shines a light on the sport and gives back,” she said.