It’s that time of the year when watersports become more popular than football and basketball together. However, it seems that even in the rich array of watersports, there’s one that stands out – surfing.
As surprising as it seems, riding the waves is the most complex and the most difficult sport of all. Here we are to present some of the best summer surfing competitions in the world.
Why Surfers Love Surfing?
Those who are just surfing enthusiast and who enjoy watching professionals surf say that surfers look extremely powerful while riding the waves. They say that it seems so effortless, but what is it like on the other side?
Some surfers say that when they are in the water, they think about nothing else but the next wave and that it’s totally mind-clearing. Manipulating the natural energy in such a way is fulfilling.
It’s not only about being an adrenalin junkie, but it’s about being out there – overcoming the challenges. All waves are similar, but experienced surfers and those who participate in surf world series or in any summer surfing competition know that none is exactly the same.
How Do Surfing Competitions Work?
All surfing competitions follow the same rules. Generally, in order to move to the next round, a surfer must pass heats that consist of 2 to 4 surfers. They all have up to 30 minutes to catch the best wave in order to get the highest grade. If it’s a group of 4 surfers, 2 go to the next round, whereas 2 are eliminated.
Wave scoring is a complex process that is done with five different levels:
- Poor: 0-1.9
- Fair: 2-3.9
- Average: 4-5.9
- Good: 6-7.9
- Excellent: 8-10
Moreover, the Surf Cup judges pay attention to the following categories when evaluating a surfer:
- Degree of difficulty
- Innovative maneuvers
- Combination of major maneuvers
- Variety of maneuvers
- Speed, power, and flow
When you take a look at the criteria, you soon realize why it’s important for surfers to wait for the perfect wave.
World Surf League Competitions
All main competitions are organized by the World Surf League which consists of two circuits: the World Qualifying Series and the World Championship Tour.
World Qualifying Series
In the World Qualifying Series, surfers try to score as many points as possible in order to enter the highest-level circuit.
Some summer surfing competitions give more points than the others so surfers must plan their tours rather carefully.
Only top 10 surfers get to enter the World Championship tour in the men’s division and top 6 surfers in the women’s division.
World Championship Tour
When it comes to the World Championship Tour, there are 34 male surfers and 17 female ones with wildcards included.
What’s more, 11 events are organized throughout the year in the men’s division, whereas the best 9 results are combined to make the final score.
In the women’s division, there are 10 events whereas the best scores of 8 competitions make the final points.
What Are The Top Surfing Competitions In The World?
World surf league offers a lot of competitions and events for professional surfers to show off their skills. These competitions are a part of surf world series and here we are to present six most popular surfing events.
1. Red Bull Big Wave Africa, Cape Town
One of the biggest surfing competitions takes place in Africa and it’s called Red Bull Big Wave Africa.
It takes place in Hout Bay in Cape Town on the massive waves called Dungeon, between 24 July and 31 August.
The Red Bull Big Wave Africa is one of those summer surfing competitions that is organized amazingly with a special emphasis on general safety. Therefore, there haven’t been any serious injuries or accidents so far.
2. The Bells Beach Surf Classic At Bells Beach In Victoria, Australia
Surfing is a very popular sport in the land down under and it’s been a home of one of the world surf league competitions better known as Rip Curl Pro.
This summer surfing competition became a professional one in 1973 but it exists since 1961. This is exactly what makes it the longest competition.
Even though the best time for surfing is between March and October, the official event takes place between 17 April and 27 April.
Surfers don’t only come here for the biggest surf competition in Australia but also for the breathtaking nature around.
3. East Coast Surfing Championships In Virginia
There are a lot of US surfing championships but among the most popular ones are the East coast surfing championships in Virginia.
This summer surfing competition starts in late August welcoming amateurs as well.
This event doesn’t only revolve around surfing since street skate and ramp contests, as well as other beach-oriented sports, are included.
Live music on the beach turns an entire event into a party.
4. Billabong Pro Teahupoo In Taiarapu, Tahiti
If you think that surfers don’t rank the competitions according to overall difficulty, you are wrong.
Billabong Pro Teahupoo has been known as the world’s heaviest big wave competition in the World Surf League.
This summer surfing competition takes place in late August.
Surfers claim that this is one of the most unique competitions since the waves break below the sea level which makes them unpredictable.
However, since the competition was founded in 1999, there haven’t been any human victims.
5. Surfest At Newcastle, Australia
There is no better way for surfers to start a year but to participate in a Surf Cup competition Surfest.
It takes place in Newcastle in Australia from 9 February to 27 February.
This is, indeed, the biggest competition in Australia since there are more than 800 competitors participating in 11 surfing events.
Over the years, Surfest has been turned into a festival with plenty of activities for the locals and the visitors in and out of water.
6. Pipe Masters It The Banzai Pipeline, Oahu
Visiting Hawaii sounds like a dream come true for a lot of surfers, but participating in the
Surf World Series there is just as much. Surfers love this place because they can indulge in powerful tube ride unlike anywhere else in the world.
It’s the most dangerous and the most breathtaking Surf Cup competition taking place in December.
If you can see it in person, take advantage of that opportunity, because the event is also free.
All of these events offer a lot more than just surfing so you should definitely take the time to visit at least one of them and enjoy as a spectator. Who knows – maybe it will encourage you to take up surfing.