In competitive surfing, athletes take turns in timed heats on waves of choice based on their position in the surf zone during the heat.
For the Olympics, a panel of five judges will assign up to 10 scores for each wave the surfer rides during the heat. The highest and lowest scores are discarded and the middle three are averaged as ride scores. The top two ride scores for each surfer are then combined into a heat score out of a total of 20 points. Each heat is a new start as the score is not carried over.
Judges take into account difficulty, innovation, combination, variety, speed, power and flow for the overall impression of each wave surfed. Where they play in the waves is important. The most important section is where blue and white water meet.
There is no hierarchy in how operations are scored. However, if there are two identical movements, the larger the wave, the harder it is to pull them apart.
“Someone can have really terrible air in a small tiny body of water-it’s like 2.5 (in a score) and someone can be like a really sick carving (turn) in a critical section Yes — it’s like a 6, ”says Tory Gilkerson, who scores as an Olympic judge. “Each operation has no ceiling or floor. It’s about how they are performed, and the skill and quality of the operation.”
Explainer: Surfing where the stadium is never level | Lifestyle
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