The SLO CAL Open surf competition, presented by the World Surf League, began Monday at the Pismo Beach Pier.
This is the fifth year that the contest has been held in Pismo Beach, and the stakes are higher than ever.
The event has been raised from a QS 1,000 to a QS 3,000, which means more prize money, more points, and a tougher set of competitors.
Surfing for Hope is hosting the event.
Over 11 years, the non-profit has raised over half a million dollars that has been distributed to various cancer research centers.
Austin Neumann, a local surfer from Pismo Beach, is looking forward to competing on his home turf this week.
Coming off an ankle injury that he suffered a couple of years ago, Neumann feels healthy and excited to compete.
“It's really nice to have the contest in Pismo… it helps just being able to sleep in my own bed, know where I'm going to park, and surf a wave that I surf every day,” Neumann said.
The event runs through January 29, and features 90 men and 50 women from all over North America.
More surfers will also face off at the SLO CAL Open in Morro Bay on February 23-26, 2023.