Judge Handbook

Judge Course Overview Notes

A judge must judge the maneuvers. Not the wave, or length of the ride.  Therefore, it is important to judge the maneuvers, not the distance traveled.

“The surfer must perform committed (outside) radical maneuvers in the most critical sections of a wave with style (control), power, and speed to maximize scoring potential. Innovative and progressive surfing will be taken into account when rewarding points for committed surfing. The surfer who executes these criteria with the highest degree of difficulty and control on the better waves shall be rewarded with the highest scores.”

Judging in Poor Conditions

A lot of events take lace in marginal conditions.  In poor surf you should concentrate on surfers who are utilizing the mini pockets on the wave with explosive maneuvers that are timed to occur at each of these spots on the wave.

Observe if each maneuver has been linked directly to another without “groveling” (rail to rail turns through the flat sections should be distinguished from hopping all the way to the next section).  Establish if the surfer is generating and creating his own speed out of turns because the wave will certainly not be cooperating.  You also must notice which surfers are completing each wave flawlessly with major significant, perfectly executed maneuvers.

NOTE: Keep in mind the fact that each heat can have 10.0 rides regardless of the wave conditions

Judging “Heavy” Heats

The following factors should be considered when analyzing each wave in such heats:

  1. Where was the first maneuver performed?
  2. How well was the first maneuver executed?
  3. How well were the maneuvers connected together?
  4. Did the surfer execute rail-to-rail maneuvers through the flat sections or did he just hop all the way to the next section?
  5. Compare outside maneuvers to inside maneuvers.
  6. Compare take off areas and how deep the surfer was at the initial point of take-off.
  7. Consider how the surfer utilized the wave.
  8. Consider the ability of the surfer to make sections and whether the maneuvers were functional in doing so.
  9. Did the surfer actually complete the maneuver and with control?
  10. What did the surfer complete before falling?
  11. Comparison between the first scoring wave and the last scoring wave is extremely important.  Inexperienced judges tend to over score last waves as they forget or ignore what has taken place during a heat.  This often affects a result.

Judging Longboard Heats

Summary of Points to Consider When Judging

  1. How well were the maneuvers connected together?
  2. Did the surfer walk foot over foot or did they shuffle?
  3. Are the surfer’s toes really hanging over or are they back from the nose?
  4. Has the surfer used the whole length of their surfboard?
  5. Compare outside maneuvers to inside maneuvers. Are they major or minor maneuvers?
  6. Compare take off area and how deep the surfer was at the initial point of take off
  7. Consider how the surfer utilized the wave
  8. Consider the ability of the surfer to make sections and whether the maneuvers were functional in doing so
  9. Did the surfer actually complete the maneuver and with control?
  10. What did the surfer complete before falling?
  11. Do not be fooled by tricks or arched backs. Judge the real maneuvers
  12. Most importantly, the rules state that longboarders will be judged on a 50-50-percentage combination of traditional and modern maneuvers with control being the major factor.