Surfing – One of the Newest Summer Olympic Sports

When the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan will actually be held is not yet certain. With the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, the world is hopeful that the current July 2021 date will come to fruition, but there is one thing futures fins users and other surfers can count on: surfing will be a medal sport whenever the next summer Olympics take place. This water sport debuts with the land-based events of karate, sport climbing, and skateboarding, along with golf and rugby sevens which were added to the summer Olympics in the past several years.

The Wave Shack

Photo Credits | The Wave Shack

Being an official summer Olympic sport means surfing, with or without futures surf fins, is now widely practiced in at least 75 countries across four continents. With the inclusion of surfing and skateboarding to the summer Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) hopes to draw a younger audience to the games. Furthering this goal, the IOC added breakdancing to the 2024 summer Olympics in Paris, France.
The 2020 Olympic surfing competition will feature 40 surfers – 20 men and 20 women – all shortboarders, who will be judged on speed, power, and flow. Additionally, fans can expect the competitors to be scored on the degree of difficulty their run includes, with advanced moves like aerials garnering higher point levels. Like snowboarding, surfing competitors will perform numerous stunts and tricks during their 20-to 30-minute heats. Additionally, surfers must follow common surfing etiquette, like yielding to the surfer closest to the top of the wave. Failure to do so can result in a penalty or point deductions.

Japan Surf Spots

Photo Credits | Japan Surf Spots

When naming surfing destinations, Japan is low on the list, well behind the likes of California, Hawaii, Australia, and Bali. But Japan does have world-class surf conditions, just not as frequently as these popular surfing locations. The Chiba area, the birthplace of Japan’s surf culture and site of the Olympic surfing competition, is said to have the best surfing in Japan. Average surf swells in the area during the Olympics are expected to be “thigh-waist-chest.” With the Olympics falling during the peak of tropical cyclone season, a storm in the Pacific could, as futures surf fins fans know, produce some great waves for the competitors to ride. Because of the natural variability in surf conditions, organizers are hedging their bets. There is a 16-day window set out for the start of the competition. Once underway, surfers will vie for the gold, silver, and bronze medals over the course of two days.

Will surfing continue as a long-running summer Olympic sport like gymnastics, diving, and swimming? That is as uncertain as the weather. Since the Modern Olympic games began in 1896, sporting events have been added and dropped and limitations on the number of events have been put into place then rescinded at a later date. So, surfing fans should set their boards and futures fins aside, grab their favorite libation, and take a seat on their sofas, then sit back and enjoy the very first summer Olympic surfing competition.