Surfing just made its Historic Olympic Debut!
The beautiful waters of Tsurigasaki beach made for a picturesque setting for the world’s best surfers to battle it out for the gold, silver, and bronze medals. Being the surfing fans that we are at WoodRoze, we put together all of the highlights for you to catch up on.
The way Olympic surfing was judged at the Olympics was entirely unique. As a sport that depends completely on the unpredictable conditions of the ocean, parameters were put in place to judge these world-renowned surfers as fairly as possible.
Here’s the breakdown: twenty men and twenty women qualified for the Olympic event and began by competing in three rounds of heats. The results from these matches narrowed the original twenty surfers down to eight. From there, they were put into pairs to compete tournament-style in quarterfinals, semifinals, and the highly anticipated gold and bronze medal matches.
Each time the athletes took to the water, they were given twenty to thirty-five minutes to ride as many waves as possible. From there, their top two best waves were scored from .10 to a full 10.0 points by a panel of five judges. The highest and lowest scores were dropped, and the average was taken of the middle three scores. Finally, the combination of the scores of their two best waves were added together to get their final score for the round. This highest a surfer could score in one heat was a perfect 20.0 points.
Surfers were judged on their commitment and degree of difficulty, innovative and progressive maneuvers, their variety of maneuvers, combination of major maneuvers, and their speed, power, and flow. This criteria was set to encourage the Olympic surfers to commit to maneuvers that would earn high scores and push the sport forward.
The Results: Men’s Surfing
Italo Ferreira of Brazil surfed against Kano Igarashi of Japan in the men’s gold medal match. Ferreira was the favorite coming into the games as the reigning world champion. He was victorious, taking home the gold medal for Brazil with 15.14 points. Igarashi made Japan proud by earning the silver medal with a 6.60 finish.
The bronze medal was up for grabs between Brazil’s Gabriel Medina and Australia’s Owen Wright. Scoring 11.97 points, Wright snagged the bronze medal. A strong fourth place finish was won by Medina, who came in with 11.77 points. This tight match was thrilling to watch!
The Results: Women’s Surfing
Who to Watch for in the Future
John John Florence, one of the world’s most dominant surfers, is someone to keep your eye on. Representing Team USA, he’s known for being able to defy gravity in the water with his maneuvers! Leading up to these Olympic games, Florence recovered from major knee injuries. Even with these obstacles, he made it to the third round of heats, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for him next.
From Australia, Stephanie Gilmore shouldn’t be underestimated, as she’s a seven-time world champion surfer. In these Olympic games, she made it to the third round of heats, and we’re excited to see her continue her career!
Congratulations to the Inaugural Olympic Surfers!
WoodRoze has the utmost respect for all who rode the waves and worked their whole lives for this moment. Now that surfing is officially an Olympic sport, we’re stoked to cheer on the world’s best at the next Olympic games! See you in Paris in 2024.