Surfing at the Olympics

After lobbying for inclusion into the Olympic Games for many years, surfing was finally accepted onto the program for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, along with four other new sports. Surfing was confirmed as an Olympic sport for Tokyo 2020 in August of 2016.

One of the challenges the sport will face is making it a more spectator-friendly sport, and also it would be a challenge for a landlocked country without a coastline to host a surfing event. Even if there was a coastal area, it does not mean that good surf could be guaranteed. This may mean that Olympic surfing would require the construction of an expensive wave-generating stadium, which would actually be pretty cool.

Surfing is already on the program for the World Beach Games. The sport was also added to the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, which was a big boost for its inclusion in the program for the 2020 Olympics.

surfingsurfing has been accepted onto the program for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

The Surfing competition at Tokyo 2020 will feature 20 men and 20 women. In an agreement between the World Surf League (WSL) and the International Surfing Association (ISA), 18 of the 40 places at the Games reserved for WSL Championship Tour (CT) surfers (10 men and eight women), with the remaining 22 places determined at the 2019 and 2020 ISA World Surfing Games, the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, and a single slot (each for men and women) for the host nation (Japan).

2021 Surfing Competition

The surfing competition took place on natural waves at Shidashita Beach, or "Shida", 64km from Tokyo on the Chiba peninsula. The event is sceduled to be held over two days, though the program included a period of 16 days so they can wait for adequate quality waves if needed.

Four or five surfers competed in heats lasting 20-25 minutes, though only one rider may ride a wave at any given time. Later rounds the surfers will go head-to-head. The surfers will be judged by a panel of judges, scoring each wave ride on a scale between 1 to 10. They will be judging each ride on Commitment and difficulty, Innovation and progression, Variety, Combination, Speed, power and flow. The degree of difficulty of each maneuver will also be factored into it. Their top two scores will be used to determine which surfers progress to the next round.

2024 Surfing Competition

For the 2024 Paris Olympics, French organizers have approved the South Pacific island of Tahiti as the venue for the events.

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