The Biggest Surfing Competitions in The World
For thousands of people all around the world, surfing is so much more than a simple hobby. A passion, a profession, and a way of life, it helps them to escape the stresses and strains of their everyday existence and find relief in the tempestuous arms of the ocean.
Filled with thrills, spills, and adrenalines rushes, the sport can become a career for the most talented, and to make their living, they rely on more than just sponsorship. They have their eyes set on the real prizes: the cash rewards from the world’s top surfing competitions.
And how the world loves to watch them. Daring all, these surf-loving souls brave the waves and take on some of the most difficult seas around the globe. If you’d like to watch them at work, here are six of the best places to be… If you want to try out some of these competitions, why not have a go at hitting the waves yourself with wetsuits from the Wetsuit Centre?
Maverick’s is an annual surfing competition like no other. Pitting 24 of the world’s best big wave surfers against each other, it’s hosted by its namesake location in Northern California. Notified in advance, competitors are summoned when conditions pose the perfect challenge, with sufficiently large swells driving the waves into Half Moon Bay up to phenomenal heights. Physically and mentally demanding, it carries a prize of $30,000.
2. The ASP World Tour
Consisting of the top 45 male surfers and 17 best female surfers around, the ASP World Tour is held in numerous locations across the globe. With a typical season consisting of 10 separate competitions, it pits champion against champion, with surfers judged by a panel and awarded a score up to 10 for each individual leg of the competition. With top points awarded for the most radical manoeuvres, speed, power, and flow are all rewarded highly.
3. The Quicksilver
The next four competitions combine to create the Triple Crown of Surfing (misleadingly named, it must be said), with each event offering both prize money and points towards the individual’s title standing. Held in memory of Eddie Aikau, a passionate surfer and long-standing lifeguard for the Bay, it is hosted when the waves reach heights in excess of 20 feet tall, to ensure that competitors have their talents tested to the limit.
4. The O’Neill World Cup of Surfing
This six-star WQS event is held each year, sometime between November and December, with its finalists vying to win a mightily impressive $125,000. A true test of skill and endurance, it makes for some fantastic viewing for those standing on the sidelines.
5. The Vans Hawaiian Pro
Leg three of the Triple Crown of Surfing matches its predecessors in terms of the thrills, spills, and dramatic waves it delivers. Another six-star WQS event, it offers the victor a mightily impressive $100,000 purse.
6. The Rip Curl Pipeline Masters
Perhaps the most impressive part of the Triple Crown, this final leg is held every year at the famed Pipeline on Hawaii’s Northern Shore. Challenging and adrenaline-inducing, it demands a true display of derring-do to be victorious. $280,000 waits to be divided among the finalists when it draws to a close.