Contest Rules


Contest Rules



Check in with the beach captain at least 15 minutes before your heat begins.

Stay within the judge’s line of sight. The beach captain serves as a focal point for the heat, and you will be most visible if you stay in front of or slightly to either side of him. If you think the judges might not be able to see you, assume that they can’t.

Be aware that we are going to be very strict with the rule listed below.  We will be disqualifying people who do not pay attention to the time limits of the heat.

We will NOT tolerate unsportsmanlike behavior. Any reports will result in the surfer being ejected from the contest.

Remain prone on your board unless your heat is in progress. If you stand up on your board before or after your heat begins, you will be disqualified.

Board Length

The maximum board length for the Pro/Am, Shortboard, and Women’s Shortboard divisions is 7’-4”.

The minimum board length for longboard divisions is 9’-0”.

Juniors and Keikis may ride any shape or length of board.


1 horn blast: starts and ends the heat.

2 horn blasts: starts the 5 minute warning for the end of the current heat AND the paddle out period for the next heat.

Surfers paddling out under the 5 minute warning CANNOT merge into the current heat lineup. You must stay well away and not standup or interfere with surfers in current heat.


One flag up signals the start of the heat

Two flags up signals the 5 minute warning for the end of the current heat AND paddle out period for the next heat.

There will be a 1-minute delay between heats, during which time no flags will be up. No Flags means that the heat is over or not started yet.


Each contestant will be judged on their top 2 waves on a 1-10 scale, 10-wave maximum. The two scores from each judge are summed, then the scores are averaged by the number of judges.

An interference call during a heat will result in a zero score for that wave, and reduce a rider’s second-best-scoring wave by half. A second interference call during the same heat will reduce a rider’s best-scoring wave by half.

Judging Criteria


A surfer must perform radical controlled maneuvers in the critical section of a wave with Speed, Power and Flow to maximize scoring potential. Innovative/progressive surfing, as well as Variety of Repertoire will be taken into account when rewarding points for waves ridden. The surfer who executes these criteria with the maximum Degree of Difficulty and Commitment on the waves shall be rewarded with the higher scores.


Longboard heats will be judged on the criteria described above. Judges will take into consideration a combination of classic and modern maneuvers as well a progressive and innovative approach. The surfer who is able to link classic and modern functional maneuvers with Speed, Power and Flow in the most critical section of the wave will rewarded with the higher scores. Surfers may embellish their performance with tricks (spinners, quasi-motos, coffins, etc); however, such non-functional ‘tricks’ will not increase a surfer’s score.

Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Surfing

A surfer must perform radical controlled maneuvers, using the paddle as a key tool, in the critical sections of a wave with speed, power and flow to maximize scoring potential.  Innovative / progressive surfing as well as variety of repertoire, wave negotiation and use of the paddle to increase the intensity of the maneuvers, will all be taken into account when awarding points for SUP surfing.  The SUP surfer who executes these criteria with the maximum degree of difficulty and commitment on the waves will be rewarded with the higher scores.  The paddle is correctly used in SUP surfing to do three main things: it is used in turns as a brace, a pivot, and a force multiplier.  The surfer who uses the paddle in some or all of these three ways to achieve sharper or more powerful turns will be awarded with the higher scores.  Average scores for all maneuvers will be allocated unless the paddle is used as a pivot or tool in maneuvers, then power, radical moves, critical sections and degree of difficulty are the deciding factors.  Tricks such as twirling or otherwise using the paddle in a non-functional manner will not increase a surfer’s score.

Entry into the wave should be by paddling in the standing position to enable the maximum score.  Riders are expected to stand on the board (to the best of their ability) at all times throughout the heat, unless safety dictates otherwise.  Inability to sustain the standing position throughout the heat and improper use of the paddle will result in average scores at best.


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 hindered the scoring potential of that surfer deemed to have the right of way. Types of interferences include:

  • Dropping in, snaking, paddling interference, breaking down a section
  • Physical contact, harassment, un-sportsman like conduct

In the case where there are two separate peaks that eventually meet, the first surfer to stand has unconditional right of way. If two surfers stand at the same time and neither yields to avoid a collision, both will be called for interference.