Olympic dream........on.

If competitive surfing ever gets included into the olympics or some such competition, should there be one standard board design approved for use by all? Or perhaps a set of dimensional criteria each board must adhere to and fall within?


I’m not really interested whether or not this should, could or would happen, or which design it would be.


Just a hypothetical design related question related to competitive performance surfing.



“one design” doesnt lend itself to such a sport where the variance between what works for one person to another is so big.


In the sailboarding they have seen this for decades from the Lechner through the Mistral one designs and even the modern boards, you end up culling the competitors to suit the equiment and that has always be counter to the olymic ideal imho…





Hey Greg,

The same question has occurred to me also...and nonwithstanding any speculation on whether surfing should or would ever become an Olympic sport, my cynic nature says:-

Q) - "One design" style surfing events?

A) - At the most lurative competition level, where pros freak out if they're pointed towards anything different by a margin greater than fractions of inches, we're already there!


Remember Peter Drouyn's Super Challenge to MR? The single, twin, thruster, quad surf-off? Historically, that one went down like the Titanic, but...

I think that would make a superb variation of the standard competition format. A handful lf the top pros in quality waves being scored on a range of designs and required to each use the same design for that heat. Heck, even throw a longboard in amongst the mix...







This has been explored here before a time or two...my feeling circa 2009 is that a single design adjusted for height and weight of the individual rider would make for a standardized enough vehicle that surfing would increase in value as a spectator sport. I'm not sure I want that particularly, but I've come to find it isn't always "about me". (joke there)

I think any debate about "pro surfing" is finished at this point anyway, so it might as well be interesting. The Real Thing mostly happens in places other than the average contest site on predetermined days. The physical progression of surfing currently needs the top people to have access to the ends of the earth, and that isn't cheap. Why drag the circus to those venues for the benefit of a few when photo crews can do the same for everyone?

A standardized competition-class surf design wouldn't "ruin surfing" anymore than a basketball slam dunk contest ruins that sport.


My opinion is…it’s not about the boards at all…it’s about the wave.

if you have a wave that is the same for every rider, then you eliminate the biggest variable.

All that is left is the rider(and his board) and the judges.

You can’t really standardize a board size for something like this because every surfer surfs different.

You can have two surfers the exact same height and weight, and the dimensions on their boards will be completely different depending on their surfing style. Factor in differences in height and weight and the variations are virtually endless.

“Surfing Gymnastics” 1 rider, 1 constant wave, 4 minutes to throw out a routine of their best stuff.

That’s the way to make surfing an Olympic event in my opinion.

It will never replace “REAL” surfing…but that makes it an event that could be done in an Olympic format.


Just my 1.874 cents

I’d like to see the following Olympic sports:

surf-javelin  (sounds dangerous, don’t it?)

surf-pole vault (there just HAS to be a way to make this work)

10 meter platform surfing (no foot straps, please)

surf jumping (big wave to ramp, for distance?)



I’d NOT like to see the following:

rhythmic surfing (twirly ribbons and balls, bah)

synchronized surfing (those nose clips creep me out)

surf-curling (we already call them janitors, so I guess SUP guys with brooms… I DO like the idea of giving them big rocks with handles…)

surf-hockey (for the crowded breaks where fights break out anyway)


"we already call them janitors, so I guess SUP guys with brooms..."


At least they have a sense of humor. A guy over on Standupzone website has printed up "Industrial Janitorial Services" stickers to put on their paddles... they have been received favorably along with "Sweeper" t-shirts.




As the advocate for reason and timeless olympic Ideals

the only answer to this equiptment boggle to be issss......................

the 6' alaia board

the hottest shortboard guys

in the universe should be able to crossover

th haughtyiest longboard guys should dominate

the stand up guys have such classicly developed core musscles

might just ab dickcate the big wave guys ,would be willing to go out

the tow in guys would use their wake boad training

and them kyte guys well we know abbout their history with the thin boards.

heck they could even wear a malo

and look greek,not like their board-a- bong shorts

avoiding all commercial implications


Hey Keith,

"rhythmic surfing (twirly ribbons and balls, bah)"


Oh, why not??

I think those gymnastic girlys in leotards would look great with their legs wrapped around my...6'4".




I can see good stuff happening if good quality wave pools catch on. I'm definitely not a fan of competition myself, but enough people are into competing, and there would end up being contests at these venues eventually.


I can see it possibly turning into a question of which 'class' do you surf, or compete?

One design class would be tricky, but it would have to have parameters relative to guys weight and height.

Open class would be the best fun to watch. All sorts of people, styles and boards just going hard for a time period.


People may not like it, but good quality wave pools will be a great place for design testing and advancements.

Why would you want surfing in the Olympics anyway?


But to address your question;

Does every Olympic athlete currently have to use the same equipment? No

Runners don't all wear the same shoes

Swimmers don't all wear the same bathing suits

Snowboarders, cyclists, tennis players etc,etc.. don't so why would surfers?


In my opinion surfing is too good for the Olympics anyway.

Surfing already has far too many bureacrats,suits and other non surfers

trying to be involved, why would you want more?


Obviously it would also lead to more crowds, why would you want that?


I think if you want to be involved in the Olympics, be like the 'Duke'

and numerous other surfing Olympians, pick an Olympic sport that your

good at, train hard and go for it but don't try to drag surfing down to

that level please.