Bodysurfing is the purest form of wave riding. It is done without the aid of surf craft, and with or without flippers/swim fins. Webbed gloves, hand-boards and other handheld craft are prohibited in freestyle competition but permitted in specialised events.
The bodysurfer should, as far as possible, propel him/herself along the ‘unbroken’ section of the wave.
For the purpose of judging, any manoeuvres will be taken into account when scoring a bodysurfer’s action while riding a wave.
GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF COMPETITION BODYSURFING
The criteria of judgement are as follows:
The bodysurfer must:
- Choose the biggest and/or best waves;
- Ride for the longest functional distance in the most critical section of the wave;
- Ride with the maximum speed, glide and flow;
- Perform manoeuvres with control and power.
The bodysurfer who performs this to the highest degree of difficulty with the most style, flow and grace will receive the highest score for a ride.
Further to the above, the following are key elements for judges to consider:
- Length of the ride in the critical section of wave
- Speed and power
NOTE: It is important to note that the emphasis of certain elements is contingent upon the location and the conditions on the day, as well as changes in conditions during the day.
The following scale will be used to describe a ride that is scored:
0–1.9 = Poor;
2.0–3.9 = Fair;
4.0–5.9 = Average;
6.0–7.9 = Good;
8.0–10.0 = Excellent.
1 – The judgment criteria can be divided into 4 main areas:
a – Wave Selection
Generally, bigger waves will achieve a higher score, but judges must consider whether the biggest waves are not necessarily the best (e.g. waves that close out).
b – Longest ride of a functional distance in the ‘critical’ (unbroken) section of the wave.
The longest functional distance is only of interest if the competitor remains in the clear part of the wave in the most critical section.
The distance travelled/covered in the foam is not considered – unless it is linking with a section of which becomes critical (unbroken) and the bodysurfer can continue riding the wave and thus achieving more point scoring opportunities.
c – Maximum speed, glide and fluidity
Speed and glide should be maximum and the momentum of the bodysurfer should not be slowed.
The use of the arms should be functional.
d – Powerful and CONTROLLED manoeuvres
Manoeuvres include, for example:
- Dolphin take-off: the bodysurfer begins the wave underwater and streamlines behind the critical section.
- Spinner and Belly 360°
The manoeuvres should be controlled and functional.
A non-controlled manoeuvre, even when performed in its entirety, may not be scored.
- The bodysurfer should consider the following criteria:
2.1) All interpretations of riding the wave – whether “conventional” (basic stationary riding style with maximum speed, glide and flow) or “modern” (radical manoeuvres) – will be considered fairly, with the latter gaining more points as long as adhering to the criteria.
To meet the judging criteria, the rider (bodysurfer) must attempt to combine the two main objectives (conventional and modern) while riding each wave.
The bodysurfer should attempt at all times:
- The optimum tempo between the slide over the length of the wave and manoeuvres.
- Variety and originality of manoeuvres
The degree of difficulty and quality of execution will be appreciated with respect to criteria including:
- Speed, gliding style and fluidity: Judges should consider the relevance of trajectory and riding position on each wave
- Powerful and controlled manoeuvres: the number of manoeuvres performed is not a criterion for getting a higher score. The judges will appreciate the degree of difficulty of all manoeuvres, the quality of their implementation, whether they are functional or not at that point on the wave, and execution speed
To differentiate between (1) a bodysurfer that meets the judging criteria by combining the two main objectives (conventional and modern), and (2) a bodysurfer that does not do this: (1) will more likely be scored as good/excellent, whereas (2) will more likely be scored as fair/average.
2.2) Positioning within the critical section (curl)
The distance and manoeuvres will be considered functional if and only if the bodysurfer is positioned in the part of the wave closest to the curl.
Any manoeuvres in the foam will not be taken into account by the judges.
The fluidity of sequences and the control displayed in the execution of manoeuvres will be considered by the judges, taking into account the capacity of the bodysurfer to always remain in the critical section (curl), and thus ensuring that the entire ride – from take-off to pull out (end) – is functional for scoring, as per these criteria.
Manoeuvres are classified in two categories: simple and complex:
Simple manoeuvres: In order of increasing difficulty:
- Conventional bodysurfing or wave gliding – with the inside arm extended and outside arm either tucked away or raised as a balance guide.
- Backsliding or back riding– riding the wave completely on the rider’s back.
- Spinner – a 360° pirouette with the grain of the wave – (if going right with the right hand leading, the Spinner is performed ‘anticlockwise’) –ensuring the arms are controlled and the fluidity of the glide is not disrupted.
- Reverse spin – the reverse of the above – where the bodysurfer pirouettes against the grain e.g – if going right the Spinner is performed clockwise’).
- Tube Riding – using skills to maintain position within the wave’s tubing section.
Complex manoeuvres: In order of increasing difficulty:
- Change of direction (from one section going right to another section going left, or vice versa) – generally whilst linking a section from ‘outside’ – across a channel to the ‘inside ’shore break’ section.
- Dolphin – using skills to either remain underwater during the take-off and/or any time during the ride of the wave.
- El Rollo – where the bodysurfer can maintain position and land flat and continue after a spin at the crest of the curling lip section.
- Somersault or forward roll – as suggested, where the bodysurfer can maintain position and land flat and continue.
- The loop or 270º – where the bodysurfer first rotates 90º towards the lip of the wave, and then continues rotating 180º in the same direction, ending up riding towards the beach
- Belly or Reverse belly spin or 360° – where the bodysurfer can control their prone raised position enough to mimic this bodyboard manoeuvre to raise upper and lower body and fins to spin ‘flat’ on the wave face and continue riding.
Further description of manoeuvres:
- Spin: – This manoeuvre consists of a rotation of the bodysurfer along a horizontal axis, the rotation is carrying down the wave. Best-rated if it is broken -The classic twists: the hand inner arm upward wave -The tendrils reversed: the inner arm to the bottom of the wave
- Back / half twist: – This manoeuvre is a half twist followed by a back riding.
- Reverse Spin: – This manoeuvre consists of a rotation of bodysurfer along a horizontal axis in the opposite direction of the spin, the rotation being driven up the wave.
- El Rollo: – This manoeuvre consists of an inverted spin, high amplitude performed in a tube along the lip of the wave, the bodysurfer realizing a spin in space describing spiral.
- Re-entry / Loop twisted: – This manoeuvre consists of a rotation of 90 ° bodysurfer on a flat vertical axis toward the lip of the wave, the body of bodysurfer back toward the lip of the wave, followed by a half spin up the wave at the lip, allowing a resumption of the wave.
- Belly Reverse Spin or 360°: – This manoeuvre consists of a rotation of 360 ° bodysurfer on a flat horizontal vertical axis of the body bodysurfer back toward the lip of the wave, using the energy of the lip to complete the rotation, followed by a recovery of the wave.-with the lip: Best rated-by pierced lip: less marked than the first
- Re-entry / Loop or 270°: – This manoeuvre consists of a rotation of 90 ° bodysurfer on a flat vertical axis toward the lip of the wave, followed by a rotation of 180 ° bodysurfer a vertical axis for a resumption of the wave in the foam
- Changing direction: – This manoeuvre is a change in direction of bodysurfer on a vertical plane through the wave. This figure includes manoeuvres such as the bottom turn, cut back the
- Tube: – This manoeuvre is to bodysurfer in the tube, normally or back riding. This is the highest-rated manoeuvre if the output is clean
- Dolphin:-This manoeuvre is to bodysurfer on the face of the wave, below the surface of water, bodysurfer using the energy of the wave.-with ripples: succession of small dolphins-with beat: dolphin over a greater length
PRIORITY RULES AND INTERFERENCE
Rule of interpretation:
The judges will take into consideration the difficulties inherent in the practice of bodysurfing in the context of assessing the rules of priorities and interference, and penalize only deliberate violations of the rule.
1) basic principle
The basic rule allows only one bodysurfer per wave, unless two bodysurfers can travel in opposite directions from the take-off point of the same wave.
An interference penalty will be given to a bodysurfer if on a given wave, the majority of judges believe that he/she impeded another competitor who had previously acquired the right of priority, by devaluing in any manner whatsoever (a drop-in, the collapse of a section, etc …) the scoring potential of the bodysurfer with priority.
A competitor who takes off on a wave on which another competitor already has priority will escape interference if he/she exits the wave before the majority of judges feel that his/her presence on the wave has devalued the scoring potential of the bodysurfer with priority.
He/She will also escape interference if this occurs after performing a dolphin take-off, during which it was impossible for him/her to see that the other competitor had previously acquired the right of priority.
2) priority according to different types of waves
If the wave runs in only one direction:
The competitor that is positioned closest to the initial point where the wave breaks, at the time of take-off, will have priority for the entire duration of the wave.
If the wave breaks at two initial points, one running right and one running left, and two competitors take-off in different directions, each towards the other:
Priority will be given to the competitor who takes off first.
The competitor that does not have priority can either exit the wave before the majority of judges feel that his/her presence on the wave has devalued the scoring potential of the bodysurfer with priority, or wait until the competitor with priority passes and then take off on the wave, as long as this also does not devalue the scoring potential of the bodysurfer with priority.
If a wave breaks at two initial points, one running right and one running left, and two competitor’s take-off SIMULTANEOUSLY in different directions, each towards the other:
No priority is given, and if the two competitors meet and collide, or simply cross, they will both be punished by the application of a double interference.
If the waves are breaking irregularly, acquiring the right of priority may vary depending on the specific characteristics of each wave surfed.
When there are two separate specific peaks, distant from each other but which converge:
Although each competitor may be positioned closest to the breaking point of their respective peak, the right of priority goes to the competitor who takes off first. The second competitor must give way by exiting the wave or changing direction.
If both competitors take off simultaneously, when they approach the meeting point they must both avoid interference (by making a change of direction or re-entry).
If the competitors meet or collide, the judges should determine who is to blame and penalize that competitor with interference.
If both contestants cross voluntarily, they will both be penalized for interference.
3) Snaking (or ‘jumping the queue’)
The competitor who is closest to the point where the wave breaks at the time of take-off, and therefore has priority, will not forfeit that priority, nor be punished for interference, if a second competitor then catches the wave in a position behind the first surfer (this usually occurs when the second surfer is returning to the peak after having caught a previous wave).
If the author of the snaking (the second surfer in the previous paragraph) does not impede the progress of the competitor with priority, he/she may benefit from the leniency of the judges and even see his performance taken into account and given a score.
But if the judges determine that the author of the snaking hindered the competitor with priority, or compelled him/her to change his/her trajectory or exit the wave, he/she will be sanctioned with interference.
4) Swimming interference
A competitor with priority must not be hindered by another competitor swimming on the same wave. A swimming interference will be given if:
- A competitor comes into physical contact with the competitor with priority, deliberately places him/herself in front of the competitor with priority, or forces the competitor with priority to change course, lose, or exit a wave that he/she is already riding on.
- A competitor comes into physical contact with the competitor with priority, deliberately places him/herself in front of the competitor with priority, or forces the competitor with priority to change course, lose, or exit a wave that he/she is trying to catch.
- A competitor is responsible for the collapse of a section, in front of the surfer with priority, which would not have naturally occurred if he/she had refrained from swimming.
Physical contact will automatically result in an interference penalty, but in other cases the judges may decide not to give an interference penalty if they feel the swimmer’s action was fortuitous rather than deliberate.
March 2017 (from Euro Bodysurf Association)