Pretend for a moment that you are an ASP Judge. You are in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and local hero Adriano de Souza is surfing in the Quarterfinals against Owen Wright. Both men are World Title contenders surfing in less-than-ideal conditions. They must be scored on two waves. The video above reflects their wave selection and performance. Now, please explain the logic behind their respective scores.

Adriano de Souza is a great competitor. Kelly Slater has repeatedly expressed frustrations about competing against him, and he deserves to win an ASP World Tour event. He deserves to sit atop the World Rankings. But not like this. Victories like this create pregnant pauses, asterisks, and discontent about the entire concept of equitable surf competitions.

Unless, of course, you can rationalize the outcome of this heat. Please do.


  • Blablabla

     I can’t even rationalize that they held a WCT in such crappy conditions. To me the outcome of that heat is just an anecdote…

  • Alex H.

     nah, floaters ALWAYS get eights.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bobcooney Bob Cooney

    You had to watch the whole event.  They were scoring floaters big for everyone, and Adriano’s was the best floater since Kelly’s in Mundaka last year (when he almost floated all the way to France).   I thought Owen’s 7.5 on a 2ft inside wave, with one move, albeit a nice 360, was a high score too.  If I had a problem it was with Owen’s second wave, which had two good moves (though his air to float could not compare to Adriano’s) could have been scored higher.  But both of Owen’s waves were small, and wave selection is a part of the criteria. 

    • Prmm6451

      Floaters were getting scores (see Michel Bourez in round 4 for a floater that deserves points like Adriano’s) however,watch those two waves again for each surfer; Owen’s waves are better. Wave size is not supposed to be the deciding criterion, it is how the wave is ridden.

      • S Wak

         Wave size has a bearing on ‘commitment’ so it is a criterion. The bigger the wave, the ballsier the moves. Adriano floater was on a chunky wave…. hence the score.

    • Anonymous

      I completely agree with this. Both of Adriano’s waves were bigger and he pulled and landed much more difficult moves in more critical parts of the wave. That was a pretty impressive floater, especially on his backhand. Granted, he won the heat with basically 3 maneuvers, but Owen really only had 2 – both airs on waist-chest, crumbly end sections.

    • JK

      I’d have to heavily disagree with the below comments.
      “You had to watch the whole event”.
      “Adriano’s was the best floater since Kelly’s in Mundaka last year”.
      Since when does a floater over score a progressive aerial?
      The whole event reeks of regression.

  • http://profiles.google.com/pranaglider Bruce Cowan

     Competitive surfing  is like competitive picnicking.  Stupid.  This heat and it’s outcome is a prime example.  

  • Tuber1der

     wow…looks like the vibes on the beach infiltrated the judges psyches. shocking – or maybe not so much…

  • Nwwerdevo

    ROBBED ! 

  • Dave Mailman

    The judges will explain Adriano’s high score on the floater as committed surfing in the most critical part of the wave (on a set wave). Even though wave SIZE isn’t in the criteria, the CRITICAL nature of a part of the wave is, and you can’t argue the section AdeS floats is the most critical of any of the 4 scoring waves. It is. However, I personally think (viewing the footage) that I would have given the heat to Owen by a few 100ths of a point. In all fairness, you can’t judge as accurately from Heats on Demand as you can from the judging tower on the beach. And as Royden Bryson once said, “If you don’t win your heat by at least 2 points, then you didn’t do your job as a pro surfer.  You’ve left the decision to the judges, so you have to accept the result.”

  • Contact

    Adriano’s floater is the best I’ve seen since Richie Collins was on tour ! He pulled it with an amazing speed on a decent sized wave whereas Owen Wright surfed way smaller waves. De Souza deserves the score on this wave.

  • Blablabla

     The question is: if it had been the other way round -Owen unfairly going through against Adriano- would The Inertia had posted anything about it?

    • Jameson

      Doubt it!! English speaking blog/web going against one of their own?!? Come on!! ;-)

  • Wiggly Gesticulate

    Maybe OW was penalized for claiming? 

  • Kucho

    I’m Brazilian and I would love to see a Brazilian become a world champion one day but not like this, it’s kinda of obvious the result was skewed, I would like to see Adriano win somewhere else like J-Bay. Unfortunately more often than not brazilians are the one’s who get ripped off. Pro contest are fun to watch but we can’t take them too serious right?

  • Guil

     It is always like that… Surfing as the wonderful activity it’s still a sport dominated by the Anglo Saxon media and athletes. Mate do you have any idea of the prejudice Brazilians get in the surf? probably not… And you better get used to see Brazilians winning surf comps, because we gonna get there!

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  • Lucianoburin

    I`ve seen dozens of other WT heats been decided the other way around against brazilians surfers, and international websites never mentioned a word about it.  Why so much media controversy about this specific heat right now? Good to see that most non-prejudiced readers recognized it as a fair result.

  • Surfecilio

    its happen because in the rio. VILLA IS TO MUTCH BETTER!