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The Inertia

Surf competitions are criticized as inaccurate displays of skill with subjective judging and an uneven playing field. One judge might see a single maneuver as a Perfect 10, whereas another might view it as a low 5. Or the waves might go flat. It’s an abstract clash of opinion and unpredictability. But what if you could oust that cloud of uncertainty?

The Trace Action Sports Tracker supplies surfers with concrete numbers and data from a session, allowing for an objective display of performance. As a hockey-puck shaped board mount, the product digitally maps everything from wave count to distance surfed to degree of turns.

And to demonstrate the product’s abilities, Trace has tapped some of the world’s best groms for the first ever digital surf contest: Trace Up / Stack Up. Throughout the month of December, the surf prodigies, hailing from a variety of different surf towns, will record their sessions at their respective home spots and beyond. In the end, the winners of separate categories will take home cash for coming out on top.

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Halfway through the competition, the youngins have already put up some huge numbers. It’s surf quantification that adds a strange yet awesome concreteness to a surf session – something foreign for most surfers, but also comfortingly clear. From Finn McGill flying down a Waimea Bay bomb at over 30 mph to Santa Cruz’s Sam Coffey surfing a distance of over a whopping 20 miles, the numbers don’t lie. Here’s a breakdown of the contests’ leaders thus far:

WAVE COUNT

Huntington Beach's Griffin Foy is holding down the lead in the wave count category. Photo: @griffin_foy

Huntington Beach’s Griffin Foy is holding down the lead in the wave count category. Photo: @griffin_foy

Griffin Foy: 527
Kade Matson: 502
Sam Coffey: 471

DISTANCE SURFED

Santa Cruz ripper Sam Coffey is leading the distance traveled category. Photo: Photo: @samcoffey9

Santa Cruz ripper Sam Coffey is leading the distance traveled category. Photo: Photo: @samcoffey9

Sam Coffey: 22.9 miles
Griffin Foy: 20.9 miles
Dimitri Poulos: 18.2 miles

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NUMBER OF TURNS

With nearly 700 turns, Griffin Foy is in first place here. Photo: @griffin_foy

With nearly 700 turns, Griffin Foy is in first place here. Photo: @griffin_foy

Griffin Foy: 661
Dimitri Poulos: 609
Sam Coffey: 604

MAX TURN DEGREE

San Clemente's Kade Matson dipping his rail. Photo: @kadematson

San Clemente’s Kade Matson dipping his rail. Photo: @kadematson

Kade Matson: 302º, T-Street
Griffin Foy: 300º, HB Pier
Cole Houshmand: 298º, Lowers
Cody Young: 298º, Ho’okipa

FASTEST

Sam Coffey is clocking in with the contest's top speed. Photo: @samcoffey9

Sam Coffey is clocking in with the contest’s top speed. Photo: @samcoffey9

Sam Coffey: 33.5 mph, V-Land
Brodi Sale: 33.5 mph, Churches
Finn McGill: 33 mph, Waimea Bay

BEST VIDEO

Dane Mackie of Barbados is holding down the top spot in the video contest. Photo: @danemackie

Dane Mackie of Barbados is holding down the top spot in the video contest. Photo: @danemackie

Dane Mackie

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