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Vans US Open of Surfing Sees Slew of New Precautionary Safety Measures After 2013 Riots

Nine days of athletic competitions and new regulations at the Vans US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach kicked off Saturday.

The Vans US Open of Surfing began July 26, 2014, and introduced new restrictions since the previous years as a safety precaution. (Credit: KTLA)

The Vans US Open of Surfing began July 26, 2014, and introduced new restrictions since the previous years as a safety precaution. (Credit: KTLA)

Violence and rioting broke out at the annual surfing and skating event last year, leading to as many as 20 arrests.

Officers were injured as they attempted to stop crowds from throwing bottles, looting stores and fighting.

In an effort to prevent similar instances of misconduct, the event planned to curb its party-like atmosphere by not serving alcohol, hosting family-friendly movies instead of concerts, and increasing the number of patrol officers as well as surveillance cameras.

Open container fines also doubled from last year to $250.

Many Huntington Beach residents thought the new measures were a good idea, but wished they weren’t needed.

“People are traveling from everywhere to the US Open, for the booths and free stuff, but this year we’re not going to have that because people ruined it for us,” resident Sara Forsgon said.

The day before competitions began, a 16-year-old boy was arrested for making violent threats in relation to the event on social media.