Surfing is officially an Olympic sport. Unless a few big changes are made, it was a terrible decision. When the IOC announced that yes, they’d take our little sport (or pastime, or whatever you want to call it) and all of the problems that come along with judging it, the debate about whether or not it should be in the Games fired up anew. It can, I think, mostly be boiled down to two sides: those that think surfing is a sport and those who do not. I land somewhere in the middle. While I appreciate the talent that comes with pro surfing, all too often the entire judging system completely fails.
Surfing, in its current form, isn’t a sport, despite entities like the WSL trying very hard to make it into one, ending the year by crowning the “best surfer in the world.” Part of sports is finding out who’s best, and in its current state, pro surfing doesn’t always do that. Need proof? Look no further than our forgotten world champion, Adriano de Souza. He is, without a doubt, an incredible surfer. But you won’t find many that would agree that he was actually the best surfer in the world. He is simply the one who got the most points, and the way it’s set up isn’t always indicative of who’s actually the best in the world. It creates a space where strategy is almost as important as talent–which is fine in many sports, but not in surfing.