10 points

 enjoyment is all that is required to validate the act. assigning a
points system based on the enjoyment of a spectator indicates the action
is executed by the rider for the primary purpose of recognition by a
spectator. if the rider simply rode for enjoyment, then a points system
could be assigned based primarily on the enjoyment of the rider. which is of
course impossible for a third party to asses and entirely irellevant to
the action. the concept of ELEVATED enjoyment or a
better or higher form of enjoyment or even an elite form of enjoyment
goes againt the concept of harmony in human existence.



Exactly. This is why surfing is not a sport. Subjective judging is a farce.

We’re just trying to relive that feeling of pure joy we felt as kids when we rode waves on a bodyboard, then stood up for the first time, and did whatever for the first time on a wave. Matt biolos has said that he makes toys for grown men.

points for smiling, instead of scowling, at folks who pull into the parking lot with boards on roof.

for explaining to that newbie they gotta move up on their board when paddling, and maybe should try down the beach a bit out of the line of fire.

for taking time to encourage gal surfers of any age, and giving them waves when they need one.

for talking to a stranger in the lineup during lulls on an uncrowded day, making a new acquaintance, maybe a new friend.

for giving a hoot to anyone who’s on a good wave or did something good, maybe even both.

for keeping an eye out on someone who took a bad thrashing, to see if they need a hand.

for offering one of your boards for a session by someone who needs to try a new board.

for showing up at a spot you normally don’t surf, and acting like a gentlemen.

for acting like a gentlemen at a spot you regularly show up at.

and most off all, points for just showing up…


Surfing is a subjectively judged sport with rides being rated

- Commitment and degree of difficulty

- Innovative and progressive manoeuvres

- Combination of major manoeuvres

- Variety of manoeuvres

- Speed, power and flow (ASP)

It is a spectator sport, you want to watch it in good waves with guys and girls doing amazing surfing…otherwise it would not be interesting.  I agree that corporations are funked, ego this and ego that, marketing and advertising shoved in our faces destroying the purity of the sport/activity.  But humans are competitive and they want to find out who is the best.  Worth remembering that surfers have been competing since before the ASP and large corporations were invented.  Plenty of other sports have subjective judging too such as diving, gymnastics, snow sports, figure skating, skateboarding, boxing ect ect and all these sports have controversies with their judging systems just like in surfing.


So I agree and disagree with you Paul.  If a happiness system of judging were adopted I could turn up every month to board riders pissed and stoned, flounder around out the back and win every time.  After that we could go to the carpark, sing and play kum ba yah whilst I practice my flute arpeggios over the top and get radical.

The other thing is though that it’s fun to compete and it improoves your surfing to turn up to the local board riders and challenge yourself every month, even though local board riders have possibly the worst judging of any sport known.  A bunch of guys sitting on a bench talking crap, perving at girls, missing waves ect ect.  Maybe the grommets are judging then mum comes to pick them up and the whole pannels gone, just throw away the clip board mid heat, off they go.  If you do make it to the dieing heats of the day there wont be any beer or bbq left cause everyone whos lost before you has been hoeing into it since mid day.


Dispite all this it’s still a fun social event that is good for your surfing!!!  I’m cool with surfing being judged on viewer determined performance rather than individual rider enjoyment (end of rant).

Humans have surfed for centuries to derive pleasure only.  What percentage of all surfers currently compete?

The ultimate accomplishment is to outperform oneself.

Surfing to entertain others?



Does it get anymore relative


Pigs is Pigs.


Rant on:

You’ve hit on the basic principles of economics. Economics is meant to be all about happiness of constituents*. Happiness was too hard to measure, so economists invented all sorts of approximations that govenrments now use to enslave and control us.

*Jeremy Bentham is the man to check out

Rant out.

the stokometer is imposible to calibrate. yet stoke is drving force for some. being worshiped is the driving force for others. the arbitrary points system is assigned based on adolation and worship . graven images if you will

im going to manouver my ass off the couch and manouver it into the kitchen and feed my kids

hi marsh. yep all those things, completely based on marketing and social trends. doesnt validate it any more then say turning up and going for a swim for ones own enjoyment. Because a bunch of people think its fuckin awesome, history tells us, that it doesnt make it so



Yes...my mentor gets ten points....and ten more....and more.....................



OOO...did you mean contest points????   10 points!!!!!



So Paul the biff is against the professional surfing machine (marketing and advertising ect)? a point system based on the average of 5 people making subjective and arbitaray judgments of a ride? or competing all together?

Adoration and worship is up to each individual person, if you don’t care then it doesn’t matter or doesn’t even exist.  You can watch the Pipe masters on your computer screen and think ‘they are some funkin awesome waves’, doesn’t mean you adore or worship any of the people in it??

What about this for analogy: You like swimming, but you want to improve your style/stroke so you join a swimming squad.  Then you want to test yourself against other swimmers so you enter into the ocean swims, or maybe you like a bunch of sports so you get into triathlon.  None of these things have to involve in any way adoration and worship if you have control of your own ego, you just did it to improve your level of fitness or to aquire a goal of being good at something?  These activities could improve your fitness and confidence in solid surf and surfing all together…only if you thought it would bring a higher level of stoke or enjoyment to your health welbeing or surfing life??

no beef,surfin’ for fun ,

enjoyment , elevated sense of wellbeing.

not an indictment of competitive or comercial

surfing just paul cannon attempt to distill the essence of the act.


whee-1st person

wow,whoa-2nd person

stand behind this line here pay admission to watch 3 rd person

I explain therefore I exist,and am q-fied to straddle the criterion to judge.

I told him,‘‘tom let’s just say you won,and let us just enjoy surfing with friends’’

there were 4 of us out in a wave field of a 1/4 mile and he just suggested a contest format.


ten points for the best

dog butt in the face kneepaddler

tall scandinavian tandem partner

accompanied youngest surfer…

oldest person to surf a wave

from begining to end

riding backwards

riding backwards prone




leglifts [esther williams]

spinners -when was the last time you saw or did a spinner

an land or on a wave.

10 points for pretending to have fun

until the camera looks the other way


surf police on patrol

arresting anyone not having 10 points of 

enjoyment and carrying a valid licence

for said fun.

and this is why i only do 1 contest a year

you show up with no board

draw a shape out of a hat

and that is the board you are stuck with for that heat

makes it vary  interesting when some ripper grom gets some 5 fin bonzer or a fish and does not know what to do with it

i love it cause i usually get to ride some thing new and have some fun



I like it.

I like it alot**.**

Now that is what I call a contest.

And boards with no logos/brand names

The worst thing that ever happened to surfing was professional “surfing”.

I think I’m in the minority here.  I enjoy watching the WCT contests.


I’m 51 years old and have been surfing since 1973.  I never paid any interest to pro surfing growing up (mostly because it practically didn’t exist ).  I was on the NSSA surf team for one year in college until I got kicked off for not leaving the water after a heat ( it was my first time surfing at Blacks and it was 4-6 foot and perfect…what would you have done?).

When the ASP started taking off I never paid it any mind ( imissed the Curren years, the rise of Slater and the Slater AI rivalry). It is has only been in the last few years with the advent of webcasting that I’ve ever watched a contest.  But now, if I’m not doing anything I’ll tune in and have begun to learn about heat strategies, have my favorites (Slater, Knox, the Hobgoods and Parkinson), and complain about judge’s scores. But it doesn’t dominate my life by any means and I think it’s sad when you see groms (and young adults) trying so hard to perform manuevers that they get frustrated and are visibly not having fun.  


Actually, come to think of it, that was happening to me the other morning.  Couldn’t find a corner to save my life.  Started blowing routine take offs. Would come up cursing… I was just having a bad morning. I decided I would stay out for another 30 minutes.  And then I did a most improbable thing- I decided, “Let’s make it a heat!”  Mind you there was not another surfer out, the waves were that bad.  It was just me and the ocean, one on one.  And lo and behold I started to get a few.  Managed to hit the lip a couple times and went in satisfied that I’d won my heat. Stoked!

I try to keep everything in perspective.  Gerry’s quote from below helps-



PS Whatever happened to the “Duke” contest?  I mean the man himself endorsed professional surfing contests!  They should defintely bring that back and make it the final contest of the year, just to honor sufing’s roots.