Skip to content (press enter)

Contest Rules


Heats, Horns, and Flags 101: A quick guide to how the heats run for those who are new or rusty.

Surfers will be judged on a point system ranging from 1-10. The highest single wave score per heat (per person) will be counted. For more information see complete details at the end of the document.

Scoring: Surfers will have a total of 2x fifteen minute heats (one heat each round) to accumulate as many points as possible. At the end of the 2 heats, the top scores from each heat will be combined and the 3 highest scoring surfers place accordingly.

Heats/Horns/Flags: Each surfer will compete in two heats. Heats are fifteen minutes long. Surfers should check-in with the beach captain and get their jersey 15 minutes before their heat starts. Single horn blast with Green flag signals beginning and end of heat. Double horn blast with Red flag signals 5 minute warning/paddle out period for the next heat. After a surfer’s heat ends, they must not stand up on a wave (belly ride in) and should report back to the beach captain to return their jersey.

Board Length: Surfers may ride any board type or size desired.

Beginners Division: Beginner Lessons/Heat Begins will run concurrently in shallower water with the other heats – 6-8 kids at a time rotating from beach lesson to water lesson. Volunteers will assist on the beach and in the water as needed. This division will be more loosely run (no competition heats, just fun!) The beginners will follow instructor and volunteer directions and disregard flags and horns.

Prizes: All contestants will receive gift bags upon registration. Top 3 of each division will win 1st Place, 2nd Place, and 3rd Place medals (except Best Beginner – all participants will receive medals). All participants will have an opportunity to win prizes including surfboards, wetsuits and much more.

Judging Criteria and Scoring Criteria: Surfers must perform to the WSL Judging Key Elements to maximize their scoring potential. Judges analyze the following major elements when scoring waves: 

  1. Commitment and degree of difficulty 
  2. Innovative and progressive maneuvers 
  3. Combination of major maneuvers 
  4. Variety of maneuvers 
  5. Speed, power and flow. 
  6. The wave scoring will be done having in mind five quality levels: 0-1.9 (Poor), 2-3.9 (Fair), 4-5.9 (Average), 6-7.9 (Good), 8–10 (Excellent).

Tabulation: Surfer’s top wave, averaged between the three scoring judges, will be used in each heat to determine the surfer’s score for determining placing.

Interference Rules:

  • Article 121.01: The Surfer deemed to have the inside position for a wave has unconditional right of way for the entire duration of that Ride. Interference will be called if during that Ride a majority of Judges determine that a Surfer has hindered the scoring potential of the Surfer deemed to have right of way for the wave.

  • Article 121.02: Anyone who stands up in front of a Surfer with right of way has the chance to ride or kick out of the wave without being called interference, unless they hinder the scoring potential of the Surfer with right of way by any means. These include excessive hassling, leash pulling or breaking down a section.

  • Article 121.03: When interference is called on a Surfer in an event, the Surfer’s second best wave score will be counted as a zero.