July 4, 2022

How stars are rated in surfing

How to choose the best surfer? How to evaluate a surfer riding a wave? How to determine the winner of the race?

There is never a purely objective, scientific formula in judging when it comes to surfing. It is not football, tennis, rugby, baseball, volleyball, hockey, basketball, or running.

However, apparent, measurable factors determine success in all of these sports.

In surfing, the difference between winning and losing is determined by the panel of judges.

In professional competitions, races are held with two, three, or four athletes simultaneously.

According to the qualifying tournament format, the race winner advances to the next round.

It is unnecessary to reread a pile of literature to understand the basic rules used to evaluate tricks and maneuvers.

So what should a surfer aim for when hoping to win?

By the requirements of the International Surfing League (WSL), which is responsible for the conduct of professional competitions, the following rules apply:

  1. Thorough evaluation of the performance by a panel of five judges
  2. Check-in time can vary from 20 to 35 minutes
  3. Each saddled wave is evaluated on a ten-point scale with fragmentation to hundredths
  4. Each opponent’s two best results (waves) are counted.
  5. During voting, the highest and lowest marks are not counted, and the final scores are obtained by averaging the three remaining marks
  6. There is no hard limit on the number of saddled waves in one race.
  7. a superior race is considered to be 20 points.

Judges’ decisions are always subjective. Nevertheless, professional judges rely on five main criteria in their assessments:

  1. Perseverance and level of difficulty
  2. Ingenuity and progressiveness
  3. Combining basic maneuvers
  4. Variety of maneuvers and tricks
  5. Speed, energy, and smoothness of performance

The rating scale should be interpreted as follows:

  • From 0.00 to 1.90 – unsatisfactory riding
  • 2.00 to 3.90 – satisfactory skating
  • From 4.00 to 5.90 – average skiing
  • 6.00 to 7.90 – good skating
  • From 8.00 to 10.00 – excellent skiing

The judges do not discuss points and do not change the marks. If a surfer wishes to know their results, they should raise a hand.

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