Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ASP?
The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the sole governing body of professional surfing. Crowning surfing’s undisputed world champions since 1976, the ASP sanctions the following tours: the ASP World Championship Tours (WCT), the ASP Qualification Series (QS), the Big Wave World Tour, the ASP World Longboard Championship (WLC) and the ASP World Junior Championship (WJC).

The ASP is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best surfers in the world’s best waves with the International organization supported by seven regional offices in Africa, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, Japan, North America, and South America.

The ASP serves to celebrate and grow the history, elite athletes, diverse fans and dedicated partners that together embody professional surfing today.

The ASP World Championship Tour

Who can win the ASP World Championship?
Any one of the ASP Top 34 men’s surfers or Top 17 women’s surfers that qualified to compete in the ASP WCT. The surfers with the most points at the end of the year are crowned the undisputed ASP Men’s or Women’s World Champion.

Which events can be used to count towards rankings?
Starting in 2014 there will be two rankings systems, the ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) Rankings and the ASP Qualification Series (QS) Rankings. This creates a clearer and fairer system for all surfers and keeps competition in the WCT and QS high.

The 2014 WCT Rankings will be made up of the Top 34, the replacement surfers and event wildcards. Only WCT events will count towards the WCT rankings. The best 9 of 11 results will count towards the ranking.

The 2014 QS Rankings will include all ASP surfers. Only QS results from ASP Prime and Star events will count towards the QS rankings. The best 5 results will count towards the rankings.

Therefore the 2015 ASP Top 34 will be comprised of:
1. Top 22 from the WCT Rankings 2014
2. Top 10 from the QS Rankings 2014 (barring those who have already qualified through the WCT Rankings)
3. Two ASP Wildcards

The 2015 ASP Top 17 will be comprised of:
1. Top 10 from the WCT Rankings 2014
2. Top 6 from the QS Rankings 2014 (barring those who have already qualified through the WCT Rankings)
3. One ASP Wildcard

What are the ASP Wildcards?
Each year the ASP selects three surfers (two for the Men’s WCT and one for the Women’s), who wouldn’t have otherwise qualified, to join the Top 34 or Top 17 to compete in the WCT. Usually these are WCT surfers who were injured in the previous season and therefore unable to re-qualify. The 2014 ASP Wildcards are Owen Wright (AUS) Tiago Pires (PRT) in the Men’s WCT and Alana Blanchard (HAW) in the Women’s WCT.

What are replacement surfers?
Replacement surfers are those who are chosen to fill empty spots at WCT events should any of the competitors be unable to complete. Replacement surfers are chosen by the ASP before the start of the WCT. The 2014 replacement surfers are Glen Hall, Mitch Coleborn, Patrick Gudauskas and Willian Cardoso for the Men’s WCT and Tatiana Weston-Webb, Sage Erickson, Alize Arnaud and Silvana Lima in the Women’s WCT. They will be offered the opportunity to fill empty slots in the order listed.

What are event wildcards?
Each Men’s WCT event will have a 36-man field comprised of the Top 34 plus two event wildcards. Women’s WCT events will have an 18-woman field comprised of the Top 17 plus one event wildcard. Event wildcards are non-ASP WCT surfers allowed to compete in the WCT event. The wildcard is typically awarded by the event sponsor. Awarding of the wildcard can take place through a trials event or through automatic entry at the discretion of the event organizer. Typically candidates for the WCT event wildcard will come from the event sponsor’s team, the local area, or both. Not only do these surfers complete the seed list and/or fill in for injured surfers, but they also bring exciting new faces and challenges to the WCT elite.

Do event wildcards and replacement surfers get to use their results towards their WCT Rankings?
Only replacement surfers count their results towards a WCT ranking.

ASP Competition

What is priority and how does it work?
Priority is mandatory in all one-on-one heats. The surfer with priority has unconditional right of way for both directions on the wave selected. The surfer without priority cannot take off on the same wave as the priority surfer, regardless of direction of distance between them, unless the surfer without priority does not hinder the scoring potential of the surfer with priority, in which case the surfer without priority will score a zero. At the start of the heat once the first wave has been ridden, the remaining surfer in the lineup gets automatic priority. A surfer will lose priority once they catch a wave or their hands leave the rails as they attempt to stand up. In the event that both surfers catch waves to the inside, the first surfer to reach the lineup will be awarded priority. Priority is indicated by colored discs at the event site.

The priority rule serves several purposes. First and foremost, the priority rule attempts to eliminate hassling for waves. Without priority, surfers would have nothing to keep them from fighting for waves with their fellow competitors. The priority rule allows surfers to focus more on their surfing performance instead of hassling their opponents. Secondly, the priority rule makes judging easier by deterring surfers from taking off on the same wave. With the encouragement of one surfer per wave, the judges can focus better on each individual ride. Finally, the priority rule allows for a tactical element to exist in competitive surfing. Surfers tend to become much more selective of their wave choice in order to retain priority for the optimal amount of scoring. The priority rule doesn’t exist in Round 1 of WCT competitions because Round 1 Heats have three surfers. The priority rule was made for head-to-head surfing, which doesn’t take place until Round 2. The priority rule was instituted in the mid 1980′s and has been modified over the years to keep abreast of competitive surfing.

What is an event window?
The event window is the allotted time in which event organizers can run their event. Having an event window that is longer than the time needed to finish competition allows organizers to be selective when running their heats. This gives both the surfers and spectators the benefit of having the event ran in the best possible conditions.

What does it mean when an event is mobile?
If an event is “mobile”, it has the ability to run at a variety of locations in order give the surfers optimal conditions (ie. wave size and shape, tide, wind, etc.) for competing. A mobile event will actually go “mobile” when conditions at the intended site have been assessed by a joint committee of surfers and event organizers, and a decision is made to move the competition site.

Are all events mobile?
No. Not all events have the capacity for going mobile. The non-mobile events are most often at prime or exotic locations and will offer the most desired surf in the area. As far as the WCT events go, the mobile events are: the Gold Coast (AUS), Margaret River (AUS), Bells Beach (AUS), Rio (BRA), Fiji (FJI), France (FRA) and Portugal (PRT). Leaving the non-mobile events as: Bali (IDN), Teahupo’o (TAH), Trestles (USA), Huntington (USA) and Pipeline (HAW).

What are the judging criteria?
The new ASP judging criteria was rolled out at all events in 2010. Read the judging criteria.

How are waves scored?
Waves are scored on a 1 to 10 scale with 1 being the lowest and 10 being a perfect ride.

How many waves are scored?
All surfers’ scores are the total of their two highest-scored waves. This does not change regardless of which ASP Tour or Championship they are competing in. By scoring surfers on only two waves (formerly it was three), the level of performance is pushed as surfers attempt for bigger scores. In all Non-Priority QS Heats and WCT Heats, the maximum number of waves scored is 15. In man-on-man heats, there is no wave maximum.

Does wave scoring differ between the WCT and QS events?
No. Wave scoring does not differ between WCT and QS events.

ASP Online Membership Management System

What is the ASP Online Membership Management System?
The ASP Online Membership Management System is an automated online system that allows ASP members to enter and manage their own participation for ASP events. The new system will allow ASP members to register or renew their memberships, enter events, view the seed list, manage membership details, plus a lot more.

Who is responsible for handling payments made via the ASP Online Membership Management System?
ASP Europe is currently responsible for all payments processed through the ASP Online Membership Management System.