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Basic WSL Rules and Regulations

 

There aren't too many complicated rules in professional surfing, but we do have a few that are worth getting to know as you watch the sport. The rules are in place to ensure the safety of the athletes, the fairness of competition and, ultimately, to promote the best surfing on the planet in the arena of live competition.

 

Below we'll describe the basics and for those who want to really dig into every detail, please feel free to download the full rulebook linked at the bottom of this page.

 

Judging and Points

Events are comprised of rounds and those rounds are made up of heats with anywhere from two-to-four surfers looking to lock in their two highest-scoring waves -- both out of a possible 10 points for a possible 20-point heat total. A panel of judges scores each wave on a scale of one to ten. There is no limit on the number of waves that will be scored, but the two best scoring waves (each out of a possible 10) are added together to become a surfer's heat total (out of a possible 20).

 

Judging Criteria for Longboard

The Surfer must perform controlled manoeuvres in the critical section of the wave utilizing the entire board and wave using traditional longboard surfing. The Surfer who performs this to the highest degree of difficulty with the most style, flow and grace will receive the highest score for a Ride

 

Further to that above, the following are key elements for Judges to consider:

• Nose riding and rail surfing

• Critical section of wave

• Variety

• Speed and power

• Commitment

• Control

• Foot work

 

NOTE: It’s important to note that the emphasis of certain elements is

contingent upon the location and the conditions on the day, as well as

changes of conditions during the day

 

Judging scale:

[0.0 — 1.9: Poor]

[2.0 — 3.9: Fair]

[4.0 — 5.9: Average]

[6.0 — 7.9: Good]

[8.0 — 10.0: Excellent]

 

Priority

If the priority system is in use the surfer with priority has the unconditional right of way to catch any wave they choose. Other surfers in the heat can paddle for, and catch, the same wave, but only if they do not hinder the scoring potential of a surfer with priority. A surfer loses priority once they catch a wave and/or a surfer paddles for but misses a wave. If two or more surfers catch a wave, the first surfer to make it to the take-off zone will get priority.

Interference

 

A surfer who hinders the scoring potential of a surfer with priority over them will be given an interference penalty. In most situations, this means that their heat score will be calculated using only their best scoring wave.

 

The full Rule Book can be downloaded here.

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WORLD SURF LEAGUE LONGBOARD QUALIFING SERIES

The World Surf League organises the annual world professional longboard surfing titles and sanctions the Australian Longboard Surfing Open. They help broadcast the event live at WorldSurfLeague.com where you can experience the athleticism, drama and adventure of competitive surfing from anywhere when its it's on.

 

We have, unquestionably, some of the best surfers in the world competing at the Australian Longboard Surfing Open, providing star power and leadership positioning to our partners as they strive to hone their competitive skills as they attempt to qualify for their spot at the World Longboard Titles. See who has entered below.

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