Basque Country

  1. Discover Basque Country
  3. Surfing
  5. Guide to enjoying a surf event
Guide to enjoying a surf event
Surfing Euskadi

Surf championships are organised by local surf clubs and surf federations. They provide a stage on which surfers of all ages and levels can compete against each other. The championships are organised by level and are categorised into local, provincial, regional and international tournaments.

Normally, surfers compete in heats lasting between 20 and 30 minutes, in a format that sees four surfers competing in each heat. The top two surfers from each heat advance to the next stage, and the format is repeated until the finalists are determined.

The competing surfers wear coloured lycra vests so that they can be easily recognised. The colours are usually red, white, black, yellow and green.

At every competition there is a panel of judges who award points from 0 to 10 for each wave surfed. Their scores are based on the degree of difficulty, the variety, the speed and the force of each manoeuvre completed by the competitors.

Points chart per wave:

0-2 poor wave.
2-4 average wave.
4-6 good wave.
6-8 very good wave.
8-10 excellent wave.

Normally, the top two scores for each surfer are recorded and will determine the final standings for each heat.

At each tournament, a commentator describes the action as it unfolds, and keeps the spectators informed as regards the standings in each heat. If you follow the action closely, you’ll have the chance to enjoy watching top surfers as well as drink in the excitement of the competition.

Depending on the level of the competition, the winner will sometimes carry off a trophy or, in the case of some international events, sports equipment worth thousands of dollars.