Typical – a beach break with multiple random peaks
As a competitor you will be scored by a panel of judges. The role of a judge in a surfing contest is to decide which surfer performs the closest to the “Judging Criteria” in any heat. The fundamental importance of the criteria is that each judge understands what he is looking for from the surfers, and each surfer knows the points on which he is going to be judged.
The Judging Criteria:
“A surfer must execute the most radical controlled maneuvers in the critical section of a wave with speed and power throughout. The surfer who executes such maneuvers on the biggest and or best waves for the longest functional distance shall be given higher scores.”
The criteria has purposely been broken into two sentences. The first being the major emphasis of the criteria, concerns the maneuvers, how radical and controlled they are and the section of the wave they are performed on.
Wave selection is the single most important factor for a surfer in their heat. The waves they select will determine the maneuvers they are able to perform. Today, there is less emphasis put on wave size in small and medium conditions due to the fact that the best waves may not necessarily be the biggest.
It is extremely important to note that wave selection (size or quality) does not automatically score high. A surfer must comply with the first sentence of the criteria and wave selection to receive the higher score!
What the judges consider when scoring:
* The competitors earn the higher scores by performing the higher quality maneuvers. Generate speed and show power throughout the execution.
* The judges look at what the competitors are doing right – not for their mistakes. This will prevent the judges from holding down scores on good and excellent waves. Maneuvers must be completed 100% in order to score.
* The judges will reward good and excellent surfing with good (6.0 to 7.5) and excellent (8.0 – 10.0).
* The judges will not reward poor surfing. Competitors may surf poorly on quality waves for a long distance, however the fact remains – it’s still poor surfing no matter how long the ride. Judges are looking for quality not quantity.
“The surfer deemed to have inside position for a wave has unconditional right of way for the entire duration of that ride. Interference will be called if during that ride, a majority of judges feel that a fellow competitor has possibly hindered the scoring potential of that surfer deemed to have the right of way for that wave. Anyone who stands up in front of a surfer with the right of way has the chance to ride or kick out of the wave without being called for interference, unless he hinders the scoring potential of the surfer with ROW, and the interference should be called.
Note: Interference calls will be announced immediately during heat.
What to consider regarding interference at this contest venue:
The venue is a beach break with multiple random peaks.
Where there is one peak with two directions:
* At the initial point of take off concentration on the shape of the wave and the position of the surfers on the peak.
* The direction with the greatest scoring potential should have the “ROW”. If neither direction has greater scoring potential the surfer with the inside position at the initial point of take off has ROW.
Where there are two separate peaks that eventually meet:
* The first surfer to stand and execute a maneuver has the ROW.
* If two surfers stand at the same time and
a) they both give way so that neither hindered the other – no penalty.
b) they cross paths, collide, or hinder each other the judges will penalize the aggressor at the point of contact
c) neither surfer gives way and both share responsibility for the confrontation then a double interference may be called.
Good advice is to avoid having more than one surfer per wave. Usually it is a lack of ability and effort that leads to an interference call. The better surfers will position themselves, read and analyze the surfing conditions and waves and gain position.
* Time your paddle-outs – every time
*Surf a heat for the first 15 minutes of every free session
* Over emphasize your maneuvers and length of rides especially during free surfing
* Paddle hard, work out, drink lots of water and stay in the shade
- Stretch every day and tune your equipment
- Keep your board clean. Fresh wax, smooth clean bottom.
- Have a back up board, back up leash and set of fins. Don’t forget a fin key.
- Have plenty of wax. Make sure it is the right temperature and a wax comb.
- Always wear a watch. Time the sets. Study time management. If you are sitting still and no waves are coming to you, move!
- Remember cross training is critical. Swimming and weights for upper torso, but bicycle and indo board are good for leg strength.
- Point with your lead hand where you want to go. Where your eyes are looking is where you will go. Look down the line at the next section, plan to string your maneuvers together. Completing the maneuver you are in should be automatic – almost subconscious.
* Watch at least the one heat if not two heats before your own. Study how the waves are breaking; where are the sets coming in and how often; judge a heat in the sand; what does it look like from the beach
- Check in on time – even early. Certainly on first call.
- Spend time alone, not distracted before your heat. Study the surf!
- Be careful of getting too much sun, it will drain your energy.
* Do not free surf too much prior to your heat
* Drink lots of water and stay in the shade. Do not drink soda or energy drinks.
* Use a watch
* Remember only your best 2 waves will score
* Try to catch the first quality wave
* Rip hard to the beach, do not bounce or waste time milking the white water get back outside and get another set wave – go for the big maneuvers outside!
* Outpaddle your opponent
- Finish each wave cleanly – never fall off!
- Paddle back out with deep strokes and with confidence. Never slap the water or hit your board.
- Always check your heat sheets. Look at what scores well for the day.
- Do not catch too many waves – be selective and hustle into deeper positioning. If you are winning stay outside and keep your opponent from getting a set wave.
Many surfers race down the line looking for a ramp or one big maneuver and they have wasted the wave, spring to your feet and get a maneuver in immediately out the back. An extra couple of strokes often give you more speed and enable you to get a maneuver in sooner. An incomplete maneuver does not score any points so don’t waste the wave trying something you will not complete. Most successful surfers today are completing aerial maneuvers. Work on this. A reverse aerial 360 is now is a standard maneuver.
Speed is essential for completing maneuvers. Only do maneuvers that generate speed. Avoid cutbacks or bottom turns that reduce speed. Tighten the maneuvers if necessary to maintain and generate speed. Stay as close to the pocket at all times. Power maneuvers are always rewarded.
Avoid flat surfing. Keep your board on rail. That will generate more speed and you will feel the difference. The judges will see the spray off the rail, show them your fins and use the “sweet spot” on your board. Every board has one, find it and be comfortable with it. Ride the board you are most familiar and comfortable with. Don’t use a brand new board that you haven’t spent some time on for a heat. Use the right board for the conditions of the day.
* ALWAYS BE A GOOD SPORT! IT WILL COME BACK TO YOU! REMAIN POSITIVE, UPBEAT AND WHERE A SMILE AT ALL TIMES – IN THE WATER, ON THE BEACH OR IN THE PARKING LOT! DO NOT COMPLAIN. POSITIVE ATTITUDES HAVE A WAY OF ATTRACTING POSITIVE HAPPENINGS AND PEOPLE. THE SAME IS TRUE FOR NEGATIVE ONES. BE SMART, BE HAPPY! MANY THINGS ARE BEYOND YOUR CONTROL EXCEPT YOUR ATTITUDE WHY NOT MAKE IT A GOOD ONE!
Win and lose like a king, be gracious, courteous – remember – surfing, after all, is the “sport of kings”