Judging Criteria


A Surfer must perform to the key judging elements to maximize their scoring potential. Judges analyze the following major elements when scoring waves.

  • Commitment and degree of difficulty
  • Innovative and Progressive maneuvers
  • Combination and Variety of major maneuvers
  • Speed, Power, Flow and Control

NOTE:  It’s important to note the emphasis on certain elements, is to be based upon the event location and the surf conditions on the day, along with adjusting to the changes of the surf conditions during the day.


  • Commitment, Degree of difficulty, Speed, Flow, Control

NOTE:  It’s important to note the emphasis is to be based upon the take off and drop, plus the skill to control the lines across the wave in a chosen direction (Left or Right).

Judging Scale Categories

The following scale may be used to describe a Ride that is scored scale2


Summarised Interference Rules 

Basic Interference Rule : 

  • The surfer deemed to have the inside position for a wave has unconditional right of way for the entire duration of that ride. Interference will be called if during a ride a majority of judges feel that a fellow competitor has hindered the scoring potential of that surfer deemed to have right of way on the wave.
  • Anyone who stands up in front of a surfer with right of way has the chance to ride or kick out of the wave without being called interference, unless they hinder the scoring potential of the surfer with right of way by any means. This includes excessive hassling, leash pulling or breaking down a wave section.

Snaking : 

  • The surfer who is furthest inside at the initial point of take-off and has established wave possession is entitled to that wave for the duration of their ride, even though another surfer may subsequently take off behind them.
  • Other forms of snaking are
    • Coming from the wrong side of the peak
    • Paddling in front and swinging on the inside position
  • The judges will not penalize the surfer because they have right of way, even though they are in front.

Paddling Interference :

  • In four person heats, positioning at the correct point of takeoff for a wave is an integral part of surfing skill and each competitor must be allowed to reach this chosen point unhindered. Paddling interference tactics in the genral contest area can be, but will not be restricted to:
  • blocking the direct pathway of an opponent to the takeoff position by paddling across his/her line, other than by taking and holding the natural inside paddling position.
  • blocking/hindering a direct /natural pathway of an opponent into the lineup from the beach paddle out position.
  • The offending surfer obviously causes a section to break down in front of the inside surfer which would not normally have done so and thereby causing loss of scoring potential.


Tactical Paddling Interference TPI

Unsporting Paddling Tactics must be penalised.

  • Tactics directed at reducing waves ridden are negatives to the performance in the heat. Right of way is available to a surfer so he/she is not hindered in actually catching the selected wave, not as a tactic to prevent opponents catching the wave.
  • “Unsporting paddling tactics” [TPI] can be, but will not be restricted to: “taking inside position and right of way with respect to a particular opponent, then intentionally aborting takeoff” once deferred to by the opponent at takeoff point.
  • Note: Recorded TPI’s may involve infringement against different opponents each time



  • The wave will count in the offending surfers score as a zero = you cannot get a score when you cause an interference
  • the 2nd scoring wave will count in the final tally as a 50% score for the offending surfer, (surfer will achieve half the wave score).
  • In the case of a second interference from the same surfer, his better wave will be 50% and the surfer must leave the water immediately.