The Olympics have always been a platform for showcasing the world’s best athletes across various sports. With the inclusion of new events like skateboarding and karate, one question on everyone’s mind is: does the Olympics have surfing?

Surfing Makes Its Olympic Debut

As a surfer from Surflagune, I am excited to see the sport finally make its debut in the Olympics. Surfing has always been seen as an alternative and rebellious sport, so it’s great to see it gain mainstream recognition. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that surfing would be included in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which was later postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic.

The Long Road to Inclusion

It has taken decades of lobbying by surfers and national federations to get surfing recognized as an Olympic sport. The first attempt was made in 1996 when surf legend Duke Kahanamoku proposed it at the IOC meeting. However, it wasn’t until 2016 that the IOC finally approved surfing for inclusion in the Olympics.

Global Appeal

Surfing is a sport that is enjoyed all over the world, with a large following in countries like Australia, Brazil, and Hawaii. The inclusion of surfing in the Olympics will bring more exposure to the sport and inspire more people to take up surfing.

Fun Fact:

Did you know that Duke Kahanamoku is not only known for his surfing skills but also for being an Olympic gold medalist swimmer? He won five medals throughout his career and is widely regarded as one of the greatest swimmers of all time.

Countries Competing in Olympic Surfing

The number of countries competing in Olympic Surfing will vary depending on how many athletes qualify from each country. However, we can expect countries with strong surfing cultures like Australia, USA, Brazil, and France to have a significant presence at the event.

Qualification Process

Each country can send up to two male and two female surfers to the Olympics. The qualification process involves a series of events called the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour, where surfers compete to earn points. The top 10 male and top 8 female surfers in the WSL rankings will qualify for the Olympics, with an additional two men and women from each continent.

Fun Fact:

Did you know that surfing is not the only sport making its Olympic debut in Tokyo 2021? Skateboarding, karate, and sport climbing are also new additions to the event.

Number of Events in Olympic Surfing

There will be two events in Olympic surfing – Men’s Shortboard and Women’s Shortboard. In each event, there will be 20 surfers competing.

Shortboard Explained

Shortboard is a type of surfboard that is shorter and more maneuverable than traditional longboards. It is favored by professional surfers because it allows them to perform more radical maneuvers like aerials and cutbacks.

Format of Events

The competition will take place over four days, with each surfer having a total of four waves per heat. The best two waves are scored out of ten points each, with the total score determining who advances to the next round.

Fun Fact:

Did you know that Kelly Slater, one of the most successful surfers of all time, has won 11 world championships? He’ll be looking to add an Olympic gold medal to his impressive collection.

Criteria for Selecting Athletes for Olympic Surfing

The athletes who are selected to represent their country at the Olympics must meet certain criteria set by their national federation.

National Selection Criteria

Each country has its own selection criteria based on factors like performance in previous competitions, consistency throughout the season, and overall rankings.

Age Requirements

Athletes must be at least 18 years old by December 31st of the year before the Olympics. There is no maximum age limit.

Fun Fact:

Did you know that the oldest surfer to compete in a WSL event was Tom Curren, who was 51 years old? He may not be competing in the Olympics, but he’s still an inspiration to older surfers everywhere.

Top Surfers to Watch at the Olympics

The Olympics will feature some of the best surfers from around the world. Here are a few names to watch out for:

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John John Florence

Hailing from Hawaii, John John Florence is a two-time world champion and one of the most exciting surfers on tour. He’ll be looking to add an Olympic gold medal to his already impressive resume.

Carissa Moore

Carissa Moore is a four-time world champion from Hawaii and one of the most dominant female surfers in history. She’ll be looking to make history as one of the first-ever Olympic gold medalists in surfing.

Gabriel Medina

Gabriel Medina is a Brazilian surfer who won his first world championship at just 20 years old. He’ll be looking to add another title to his collection with an Olympic gold medal.

Fun Fact:

Did you know that surfing has been part of the Pan American Games since 2019? It’s another opportunity for surfers to compete on an international stage.

Types of Waves Used in Olympic Surfing Competition

The type of wave used in competition can have a significant impact on how well a surfer performs. The waves used in Olympic surfing will be man-made.

Wave Pool

The wave pool is a man-made pool that generates waves using technology. This type of wave is consistent and predictable, which can be an advantage for surfers who are used to surfing in similar conditions.

Artificial Wave

An artificial wave is created by modifying the natural environment, usually by building a structure that changes the way waves break. This type of wave can be more challenging because it’s less predictable.

Fun Fact:

Did you know that the world’s largest man-made wave pool is located in Waco, Texas? It’s called BSR Surf Resort and features a 600-foot-long wave.

Judging Criteria for Olympic Surfing Performance

Surfing is a subjective sport, which means that judges have to make decisions based on their interpretation of the surfer’s performance. Here are some of the criteria that judges use to score surfers:

Difficulty of Maneuvers

The more difficult and innovative the maneuvers performed by the surfer, the higher their score will be.

Speed and Power

Surfers who display speed and power throughout their ride will also receive higher scores.

Critical Section

The critical section refers to the part of the wave where the surfer performs their most significant maneuver. The more critical this section is, the higher their score will be.

Fun Fact:

Did you know that surfers can earn up to 10 points per wave? That means they could potentially earn a perfect score of 20 points if they perform exceptionally well on both waves.

Age Restrictions for Olympic Surfers?

As mentioned earlier, athletes must be at least 18 years old by December 31st of the year before the Olympics. However, there is no maximum age limit.

Experience Matters

Surfing is a sport that requires years of experience and practice to master. Many professional surfers continue to compete well into their 40s and beyond, which means that age should not be a limiting factor for Olympic surfers.

Fun Fact:

Did you know that the oldest surfer to ever ride the world’s largest wave was Laird Hamilton, who was 50 years old at the time? He’s proof that age is just a number.

Equipment Needed for Olympic Surfing Competition

Surfers will need specific equipment to compete in the Olympics. Here’s what they’ll need:


As mentioned earlier, shortboards are used in Olympic surfing competitions. These boards are typically between 5’6″ and 7’0″ long and are designed for speed and maneuverability.


The water temperature in Tokyo can vary depending on the time of year, so surfers will need wetsuits to keep them warm. The thickness of the wetsuit will depend on how cold the water is.


A leash attaches the surfer’s ankle to their board, preventing it from getting lost in the water if they fall off.

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Fun Fact:

Did you know that surfboards were originally made from wood? It wasn’t until the 1950s that foam and fiberglass became popular materials.

Differences Between Olympic and Professional Surfing Competitions

While there are similarities between Olympic and professional surfing competitions, there are also some key differences.

Judging Criteria

The judging criteria for Olympic surfing competitions may differ slightly from those used in professional events. This is because judges must take into account the fact that not all surfers will be familiar with the type of wave used in competition.

Format of Events

The format of Olympic surfing events is also different from professional competitions. In professional events, surfers compete in a series of heats until a winner is determined. In the Olympics, there are only two events – Men’s Shortboard and Women’s Shortboard.

Fun Fact:

Did you know that some professional surfers have refused to compete in the Olympics because they feel it goes against surfing’s anti-establishment roots? It’s an interesting debate.

Olympic Surfing Exhibition or Demonstration Events?

Surfing has been included as a full medal sport in the Olympics, which means that athletes will be competing for gold, silver, and bronze medals.

Medal Sport

A medal sport is one where athletes compete for medals that count towards their country’s total medal count.

Demonstration Sport

A demonstration sport is one where athletes compete but do not receive medals. This type of event is used to showcase sports that are not yet part of the official Olympic program.

Fun Fact:

Did you know that golf was once a demonstration sport at the Olympics? It was played at both the 1900 and 1904 games before being removed from the program.

Training and Preparation for Olympic Surfers

Preparing for Olympic surfing requires a combination of physical training, mental preparation, and experience in different types of waves.

Physical Training

Surfing requires strength, balance, and endurance. Athletes must engage in regular physical training to build up these skills and prevent injury.

Mental Preparation

Mental preparation is just as important as physical training. Athletes must learn to manage their nerves and emotions, especially when competing on an international stage.

Experience in Different Waves

Athletes must also have experience surfing in different types of waves, including man-made and artificial waves. This will help them adapt to the conditions at the Olympics.

Fun Fact:

Did you know that some surfers use yoga as a way to improve their balance and flexibility? It’s a great way to prepare for surfing.

The Impact of Inclusion of Surfing in the Olympics on Other Sports

The inclusion of surfing in the Olympics is expected to have a positive impact on other sports, particularly those that are considered alternative or niche.

Mainstream Exposure

The Olympics has a massive global audience, which means that sports like surfing will gain more exposure than ever before. This could inspire more people to take up the sport and help it grow even further.

Increased Funding

The inclusion of surfing in the Olympics could also lead to increased funding for national federations and athletes. This could help them train more effectively and compete at higher levels.

Fun Fact:

Did you know that skateboarding was once seen as a rebellious activity but is now an Olympic sport? It just goes to show how much things can change over time.

Future Plans for Inclusion of Surfing in the Olympics?

Surfing is currently included as a full medal sport in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, but it remains to be seen whether it will be included in future events.

Paris 2024

There are rumors that surfing may be included in the Paris 2024 games, but nothing has been confirmed yet.

Sustainability Concerns

One concern with including surfing in future events is the environmental impact of building wave pools or modifying natural environments. The IOC has stated that sustainability will be a key factor in deciding which sports are included in future Olympic programs.

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Fun Fact:

Did you know that surfing was once considered for inclusion in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, but was ultimately left out? It just goes to show how much can change in the world of sports.

How to Watch and Follow Along with Olympic Surfing Events?

If you’re a fan of surfing, you won’t want to miss the Olympic events. Here’s how you can watch and follow along:

TV Coverage

The Olympics will be broadcast on TV networks around the world, so check your local listings to see when surfing events will be shown.

Live Streaming

Many websites offer live streaming of Olympic events, including surfing. Check out the official Olympics website for more information.

Social Media

Follow your favorite surfers and national federations on social media to stay up-to-date with all the latest news and results.

Fun Fact:

Did you know that surfing is one of only a few sports where athletes compete individually rather than as part of a team? It adds an extra level of pressure to each surfer’s performance.

In conclusion, yes, the Olympics now officially includes surfing! This exciting addition to the games is sure to draw even more attention and interest from fans around the world. If you’re a fan of surfing or just want to stay up-to-date on all things Olympic-related, be sure to check out our products and get in touch with us today. We’d love to hear from you!

Is there surfing at the Olympics?

At the moment, only high-performance shortboards are allowed for surfing in the Olympics, and they are divided into gender categories. However, if surfing is included in future games like Paris 2024 or Los Angeles 2028, other categories like Longboarding, bodyboarding, and SUP may also be included.

Will there be surfing in the 2024 Olympics?

A total of eight surfers have earned their spots in the surfing event at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. These athletes qualified through their performances at the 2023 ISA World Surfing Games, with France, Japan, New Zealand, and South Africa each receiving two spots.

Why is surfing not an Olympic sport?

Surfing is considered more of a hobby than a sport, and it has not traditionally been included as an Olympic event. However, in September 2015, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was presented with a proposal to add surfing and other events to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Is surfing a permanent Olympic sport?

Surfing has received such a positive and enthusiastic response that it has been chosen as a permanent sport in the Summer Olympics starting from 2028. This decision was made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in February 2022 and was announced on January 31, 2023.

Which sport is not in the Olympics?

Since the inception of the modern Olympic Games in 1896, a total of 10 sports have been removed from the official schedule. These sports include croquet, cricket, Jeu de Paume, pelota, polo, roque, rackets, tug-of-war, lacrosse, and motor boating.

Which is the sport that replaced the surfing in the 2016 Olympics?

The inclusion of kitesurfing in the Olympic program in Rio came at a cost. Windsurfing, which had been an Olympic sport since 1984, was removed to make room for kitesurfing.