Judging SUP Surfing

SUPA Judging Criteria – SUP Surfing

Australian Championship Titles

Suppers are judged on how they:

Utilise the paddle to perform and connect functional manoeuvres in the critical section of a wave with control, speed, power, flow and variety whilst exhibiting the maximum degree of difficulty and commitment.

Use of the paddle differentiates stand up paddle from conventional surfing.  The paddle is simply not a tool but a piece of vital equipment that is used as a brace, a pivot and a force multiplier to:
• perform manoeuvres
• create power and speed
• get through closing out sections

Use of paddle is considered first and foremost when scoring rides.


1) A Judging panel will officiate each SUP surfing competition heat. Each heat judging panel will be supervised by a Head Judge.
2) Wave scores will be judged on a ten point system utilising all decimal places. e.g. 1.5 2.7, 8.9 etc.
3) A ride will be deemed a scoring wave when the supper has paddled over the crest of a wave and requires no more forward momentum with the paddle.  
4) Surfing outside the markers / flag area will not be judged.

1) The supper on the inside at the initial point of take-off has unconditional right of way for the duration of the supper’s ride, where it be a right breaking wave or left breaking wave.
2) The point of take-off is defined as that position on a wave which a Judge considers to be the point closest to the critical part of the wave when a supper is able to take-off.
3) Any supper who rides the wave in front of the inside supper has interfered.
4) A penalty will be applied to the interfering supper.
5) If a Judge thinks that a supper has interfered at any stage of take-off with an opposing supper in the way of excessive hassling, leash pulling, breaking down a section of wave, or paddling interference in the line-up, dropping in, excessive snaking or paddling around the priority supper and taking the next wave will incur the interference penalty.   
6) Once a supper has established wave possession in the chosen direction (right or left), a supper choosing to go in the opposite direction cannot ride towards the opposing supper and try to create an interference call, i.e. suppers may paddle towards each other, but in no way cause interference.
7) In cases where two suppers are both paddling for the same wave, and contesting to go in opposite directions, one supper must give way.
It will be the primary responsibility of the Judges to determine which supper has the right of way. The supper deemed not to have right of way may be penalised for interference if hindering the right of way supper from scoring maximum points, or if neither supper catches the wave a paddling interference can be called on the non right of way supper for blocking.   This also applies to a supper paddling back to the break.
Conversely the supper with the right of way prevents the supper with no right from catching the wave will not be penalised for paddling interference.
When two suppers collide and clash whilst paddling for the same wave and, due to the nature of the wave, the Judges cannot establish the supper with the right of way, and in the opinion of the Judges both suppers are responsible for the contact, a double interference can be called on both suppers.
8) Scoring an Interference
(a) If in the opinion of a Judge, an interference has occurred, the Judge will score the offending supper’s wave in the normal way and triangle the score, with an arrow pointing to the other supper’s score. This triangle reference is essential in the case of an appeal, as a number of interferences could occur in one heat, and this will assist the Head Judge to accurately check the details of a particular interference.
(b) For an interference to be scored and enforced, a majority of Judges must agree (i.e. two out of three, three out of four, three out five).
9) For each interference that has been established, the Tabulator will halve the score of the next wave.
(a) Any competitor has the right to protest on a result of a heat. All protests must be consulted, in a civil manner, with the Contest Director. The Contest Director will meet and discuss the protest claim with the Head Judge. 
(b) The result of the protest will be conveyed to the supper by the Contest Director.  The Contest Director’s decision will be final and respected. 

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