Everybody has an opinion on claiming waves. In its most pure form, a simple fist pump or throwing your arms in the air after escaping a barrel is an instinctive reaction to having just experienced something special. You can’t hold back the smile or the pride of accomplishment and the claim is simply a surfer’s punctuation mark.
But that’s the beauty of the claim in theory. In practice, it’s really just how some people make sure you’re paying attention to them. And in the competitive surfing arena, it’s the tactical attempt at squeezing a few extra tenths of a point out of the judges. But does the overselling actually work? And if it does, is it worth looking like a troll in the process?
Here are a few of the best in the business weighing in.