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Surfing is a water sport where an athlete rides a wave standing or in any other position on a board, or just with his body (body surfing).

In competition, each surfer has unconditional right of way for their chosen direction, left or right, based on their priority and dictated by the Priority and Interference Rules.

If a surfer without priority interferes with the ride of the surfer with priority, then a penalty may occur on the interfering surfer.

Surfers perform manoeuvres on a given wave, the totality of which is scored by a panel of five judges based on the difficulty, variety and type of manoeuvres. Surfers are also judged on their power, speed and flow during and between the manoeuvres.


Duke Kahanamoku, a three-time Olympic freestyle swimming champion, first advocated that surfing be included in the Olympic Games in 1920. The Hawaiian, who was known as the Father of Modern Surfing, is credited with popularising surfing around the world.

Kelly Slater, of the United States, was crowned professional world champion on 11 occasions, while Australian woman Layne Beachley was the first surfer, male or female, to claim six consecutive global professional titles between 1998 and 2003 before she won her seventh in 2006. She also was ISA Master Surfing World Champion.

Tokyo 2020

The competition in Tokyo will be staged at Tsurigasaki Beach, on the Chiba Peninsula on shortboards, with 40 athletes split evenly between men and women.


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