Straight Dope Message Board

Straight Dope Message Board (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/index.php)
-   The Game Room (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/forumdisplay.php?f=17)
-   -   Scheduling of Surfing Competitions (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=880372)

Jackknifed Juggernaut 08-13-2019 02:17 PM

Scheduling of Surfing Competitions
 
There is generally very little consistency in the size of waves at the beaches that I've frequented in my life. When they schedule surfing competitions, how confident are organizers that the waves on the day of a tournament will be sufficient? Are there certain beaches at which waves are more consistent and reliable?

Chronos 08-13-2019 02:26 PM

When you say that the beaches you frequent are inconsistent, are you comparing dates at the same phase of the Moon?

Jackknifed Juggernaut 08-13-2019 02:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 21804189)
When you say that the beaches you frequent are inconsistent, are you comparing dates at the same phase of the Moon?

No, not at all. I thought that the wind plays a big part (in addition to the tides). Is that how they schedule these things?

Atamasama 08-13-2019 02:46 PM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surf_forecasting

This might give some info.

Jackknifed Juggernaut 08-14-2019 08:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Atamasama (Post 21804251)

Thanks, this was quite helpful.

Robot Arm 08-14-2019 08:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Atamasama (Post 21804251)

Interesting. The link describes swell data as the height, direction, and frequency of the swell in deep water. It also says:
Quote:

Using swell data, which is readily available on the internet,...
It doesn't say how the data about swells in the open ocean is collected. Are there enough ships in enough parts of the ocean to get a good overall picture of where all the swells are; and do all their observations get collected in one place? Can weather forecasting tools like satellites observe swells, or extrapolate swell data from the things they can observe? How do we know what the surface of the ocean is doing 1,000 miles from the nearest land?

Section Maker:Jupe 08-14-2019 10:11 AM

Semi-retired surfer here. Swell mapping today is annoying perfect, due to satellites measuring wave heights. Waves are predicted anywhere up to two weeks out, so everyone can schedule things to get there at the right time.
Only locally produced wind swell (like the Great Lakes produces) are harder to predict, as winds can generate rideable waves in a matter of minutes.
http://www.stormsurf.com/page2/forec.../current.shtml is one of the best for long term predictions.
http://www.surfline.com/surf-report/...rnia_2081/map/ is the biggest, and they have scooped up all the beach cameras. You can watch for 30 secs free, with ads.

The contests themselves (long story short) have been endlessly squabbling, probably since surfing began, as to when/where to hold the contests. Even if good waves are predicted, the ocean is fickle, people are fickle, the permitting system is fickle etc etc.

Redbull does "contests" at terrifying surfspots, with perfect giant waves, and the best in the world, which IMHO is a better way, than say, the recent Huntington Beach contest, scheduled probably a year in advance, and the waves were horrible forthe amount of trouble involved.

The advent of mechanical wave pools has everyone excited, but the it will tend end up like snowboarding has, that is, multiple versions of the same "sport"...some doing gymnastic type events in fixed areas/waves, others.

In the various surf sites i frequent, the discussion is raging nonstop, has been for years.

As the saying goes....."You should have been here yesterday"

That Don Guy 08-14-2019 02:20 PM

Mavericks (er, Titans of Mavericks, Mavericks Challenge, whatever it's called this week) solves this problem by not announcing the competition until 48 hours - yes, two days - before it takes place. There have been years in which the waves never got high enough to give the go-ahead for the contest to take place.

Wallaby 08-14-2019 07:47 PM

The Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach is scheduled every Easter. As you know, Easter can move about by several weeks from year to year, but it is based upon lunar cycles (I think it's the first full moon after the March Equinox or something). Anyway, it means the surf contest always held at a good time for tides etc which play into good surfing conditions. The surrounding coastline has several other beaches, so that if a the wind is a bit dodgy for Bells, they can move it a couple of miles up or down to a break with a more suitable aspect.

Gray Ghost 08-14-2019 09:11 PM

Mainly to Section Maker, but: what conditions make for a good surf contest? It can't just be height. Is it off shore wind, good swell, and how many tricks a rider can pack into a ride? How is it judged?

blondebear 08-14-2019 09:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by That Don Guy (Post 21806142)
Mavericks (er, Titans of Mavericks, Mavericks Challenge, whatever it's called this week) solves this problem by not announcing the competition until 48 hours - yes, two days - before it takes place. There have been years in which the waves never got high enough to give the go-ahead for the contest to take place.

Then, again, there was that one year when the waves were a little too good...for the spectators.

Section Maker:Jupe 08-15-2019 01:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gray Ghost (Post 21806780)
Mainly to Section Maker, but: what conditions make for a good surf contest? It can't just be height. Is it off shore wind, good swell, and how many tricks a rider can pack into a ride? How is it judged?

How is it judged? haha:eek::eek::D Now thats a big can of worms!! Its obvious!! Its the best person out!!!
I was trying to explain the history of judging, and how its changed with the changing nature of the sport, (similar to skiing and snowboarding as they have changed) but I got lost in the weeds, so heres a decent summary, and some great video of the current state of the art surfing. (its really approaching the same gymnastic style that snowboarding halfpipe competition has ended up with)

https://saltysoulsexperience.com/how...freaking-work/

You are correct that offshore winds, and good swell make for a good contest. However each contest spot has a host of variables, as Wallaby mentioned about Bells Beach Aus, that can enhance or subtract from a contest. Tides alone can shut down a surf spot Some surf areas in Indonesia are "good" for months at a time, all day, every day, while other areas, are only "good" for 3 hours in the morning, and then get horrible. Huntington Beach Ca. being a good example of that.
Some contests, like the Mavericks as mentioned, are really a very specific type of surfing, and just catching a wave and not falling off can be enough to win it. Other contests, like the World Surfing League circuit, require to competitors to be able to surf a large variety of waves, no matter the conditions. The big change coming is the artificial wave pools, where the waves will become standardized, and the aerials and other tricks will take center stage.
The waves will be small however, so the other types of open water contests will still have a prominent place.
Heres a link to the Redbull Shipsterns contest, invite only, no points for the WSL, but to my mind, a good way to promote and share the sport. And Redbull gets their advertising as well!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teo1M9qP2jE

Section Maker:Jupe 08-15-2019 10:49 AM

heres an upcoming swell as forecast by Surfline.

https://www.surfline.com/surf-news/s...sw-swell/59977

Gray Ghost 08-15-2019 03:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Section Maker:Jupe (Post 21807003)
How is it judged? haha:eek::eek::D Now thats a big can of worms!! Its obvious!! Its the best person out!!!
I was trying to explain the history of judging, and how its changed with the changing nature of the sport, (similar to skiing and snowboarding as they have changed) but I got lost in the weeds, so heres a decent summary, and some great video of the current state of the art surfing. (its really approaching the same gymnastic style that snowboarding halfpipe competition has ended up with)

https://saltysoulsexperience.com/how...freaking-work/

You are correct that offshore winds, and good swell make for a good contest. However each contest spot has a host of variables, as Wallaby mentioned about Bells Beach Aus, that can enhance or subtract from a contest. Tides alone can shut down a surf spot Some surf areas in Indonesia are "good" for months at a time, all day, every day, while other areas, are only "good" for 3 hours in the morning, and then get horrible. Huntington Beach Ca. being a good example of that.
Some contests, like the Mavericks as mentioned, are really a very specific type of surfing, and just catching a wave and not falling off can be enough to win it. Other contests, like the World Surfing League circuit, require to competitors to be able to surf a large variety of waves, no matter the conditions. The big change coming is the artificial wave pools, where the waves will become standardized, and the aerials and other tricks will take center stage.
The waves will be small however, so the other types of open water contests will still have a prominent place.
Heres a link to the Redbull Shipsterns contest, invite only, no points for the WSL, but to my mind, a good way to promote and share the sport. And Redbull gets their advertising as well!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teo1M9qP2jE

Thanks for the info. I've seen surfing contests in Santa Cruz and Pismo, but had no idea what the judges were looking for. Mavericks, like Nazare, seems to be more about can you survive it, more than what sort of tricks you can do on it. Shame they closed off effective access to Ghost Tree, though if I had a tens of millions USD estate in the Del Monte Forest, I wouldn't want to hear PWC all day either.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:08 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2019 STM Reader, LLC.