Surfing Betting 101

If you are in the USA and you happen to follow surfing, it has probably been a source of frustration for you in the past that you have not had anywhere to bet on the sport. But now, that is finally starting to change.

Several of the top US-facing sportsbooks are now offering surfing betting. In this detailed guide, we will introduce you to those sites as well as what you need to know to get started wagering on this exciting sport.

The Maverick’s Surf Contest from Wikipedia.

Top Sportsbooks for Betting on Surfing

Excited to get started with surfing betting? Visit our recommended sportsbooks to claim your bonuses and start wagering now.

Among the biggest names in the world of USA and Canadian sportsbooks is BetOnline. There is a lot to love about this site—a huge selection of betting markets, fast and reliable payment processing with credit cards, outstanding 24-hour customer support, flexible minimums, and more.

If you click on “Other Sports” in the sportsbook section of the site, you will find yet another reason to love BetOnline — surfing betting!

At the time of this writing, we are seeing futures bets available for the 2022 Men’s WSL Championship and the 2022 Women’s WSL Championship.

We are guessing that when these events draw closer, BetOnline will allow you to place other types of wagers on them as well.

Not a member of BetOnline yet? That is actually good news, because it means you can claim the 50% Sports Welcome Bonus up to $1,000 on your first deposit! If you are depositing with cryptocurrency, you can claim a Bonus of up to 100%.

Some other exciting promotions on BetOnline include a 10% Crypto Boost, a 25% Sports Reload Bonus, and a 35% Crypto Reload Bonus. There are also generous promotions for the casino/poker side of the site, so do not miss out on those!

Incidentally, BetOnline accepts a huge range of cryptocurrencies for sports betting, including Bitcoin, Avalanche, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, Chainlink, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Shiba, Solana, Stellar, Tether, and USD Coin.

Along with promotions, BetOnline runs regular contests for a wide range of sports, so check those out after you sign up.

Another excellent sportsbook that lets you bet on surfing from the USA is MyBookie. We have now been working with this site for many years, and have found them to consistently provide competitive odds and reliable payouts.

At the time of this writing, we are once again seeing futures bets for the 2022 Men’s WSL Championship and the 2022 Women’s WSL Championship.

When you sign up at MyBookie to wager on surfing, you can claim a 100% Match on Your First Deposit up to $1,000.

If you prefer, you can instead claim a $200 First Deposit Cash Bonus. While this bonus is smaller, it comes with a lower rollover requirement. We love that you can pick whichever option suits you best!

When you are ready to re-up your account, you can claim the 25% Sports Reload Bonus up to $500.

Finally, there are also horse rebates as well as a variety of casino bonuses you can enjoy at MyBookie.

Some years back, the name SportsBetting was a problematic one, as the previous company that ran the website was deep in debt.

Thankfully, this resulted in them selling it to the company that runs BetOnline. When those reliable folks took over, they cleared the debt and turned the site completely around. It is now one of the best spots to wager online.

Not surprisingly, SportsBetting offers surfing wagering, just as BetOnline does. You will find it listed under “Other Sports.” We are currently seeing the same futures action on the 2022 Men’s WSL Championship and the 2022 Women’s WSL Championship as we are elsewhere.

When you sign up on this website, you can claim a 50% Sports Welcome Bonus up to $1,000. The 1st Time Crypto Bonus provides a 100% Match. Reload bonuses for sports bettors depositing US Dollars and cryptocurrencies are 25% and 35% matches respectively.

SportsBetting also offers the “Odds Boosters” Promotion, which is unique to the site. SportsBetting explains, “Each and every day we will boost-up the odds on numerous sports betting markets. No matter the sport or wager type, the odds will be shifted in your favor; making the Odds Boosters section a must-visit every day.”

We are guessing this is most common for major sports, but it does say “no matter the sport,” so there could occasionally be boosts for surfing and other less popular sports.

Another option for betting on surfing online is BookMaker. This site earns top marks for their reliable payouts, their high-grade security, and their competitive odds. For more than two decades, they have been knocking bettors’ socks off with their excellent service.

This website offers action on surfing, including World Surf League competitions. A variety of welcome and reload bonuses are offered to customers.

Don’t miss out on the fact that if you do join up over at BetOnline you will also always get a Lifetime Reload Bonus of 25% up to $250 every time you want to top off your account with the code LIFEBONUS!
And why don’t you also take a look at Soccer Betting 101!

A Brief Introduction to Surfing

Now that we have introduced you to some online sportsbooks that offer surfing, let’s talk more about wagering on the sport! We will start out by going over exactly what competitive surfing is and how it works.

Can’t even picture what competitive surfing is like? That is okay — a lot of people are new to this sport! Competitive surfing came to greater public attention in 2021 when it was added to the Summer Olympic Games.

Basically, during a competitive surfing event, this is what happens:

  • A surfer catches waves. How many is not important (so long as it does not exceed the maximum allowed).
  • The surfer follows the relevant rules for the competition in which they are participating.
  • A panel of judges watches.
  • The panel rates the surfer in a variety of categories.
  • Weights are assigned to the categories.

Note that the weighting of the criteria, like the rules, depends on the specific event. So does the composition of the judging panel.

It is also important to know that multiple surfers can be participating at a time. Indeed, there can be interference if one surfer gets in another’s way in violation of the rules. The result will be a penalty.

Also, for any given “heat,” there is a cap on how many waves each surfer can catch. Violating that cap can result in a penalty.

The criteria set by the World Surf League (WSL) for judging of competitions include:

  • Commitment and degree of difficulty
  • Innovative and progressive maneuvers
  • Combination of major maneuvers
  • Variety of maneuvers
  • Speed, power and flow

You might be wondering a bit more about what each of these criteria mean.

  • Commitment and degree of difficulty:
  • Riskier movements are worth more, as are those that make the most of a given wave.

  • Innovative and progressive maneuvers:
  • Tail slides, aerials, and other innovative maneuvers are valuable.

  • Combination of major maneuvers:
  • Rather than just rating each maneuver on its own, the judges will also rate the way they connect to one another.

  • Variety of maneuvers:
  • If a surfer keeps doing the same moves over and over, that is not going to be rated as highly as a range of different maneuver types.

  • Speed, power and flow:
  • Speed refers both to the surfer’s overall speed and the speed of adaptations. Flow is related to combinations of maneuvers, and refers to the seamlessness of the connections. Power is fairly self-explanatory.

Speaking of the WSL, let’s talk a little bit more about how professional surfing is organized.

How is Surfing Organized?

…and after this we’ll go skydiving and rob a bank. Don’t tell anyone.

The body that governs surfing is the World Surf League (WSL). This body was founded in 1976, and used to be called International Professional Surfing (IPS). The name WSL came into use in 2015. During that same year, the organization put out an app to help fans keep up with events. With over a million downloads, it was a big success and drew more attention to the sport!

There were a couple of organizations that oversaw surfing competitions prior to IPS/WSL. These included the International Surfing Federation (ISF), which operated from 1964 until 1972 (technically, it is still around in a different capacity), and the Smirnoff World Pro-Am Surfing Championships, which ran events between 1973 and 1975.

Why Bet on Surfing?

If you have never bet on surfing before, here are a few reasons to wade in. The water is warm!

It is something new and different.
You probably spend most of your time betting on major sports like football, basketball, baseball, and so forth, right? Maybe you are looking for something a little bit different to break up your routine. Surfing can add some excitement to your betting. And hey — you might enjoy it so much that it becomes part of your new routine.

It is easy to learn about.
Surfing is a very straightforward sport. It will not take you long at all to understand how competitions work and to pick up on all the rules. So, getting into it is easy, and before you know it, you will be ready to start placing bets.

Surfing betting is becoming more popular.
Even though surfing is something new and unfamiliar to bet on for a lot of punters, it is also a sport that is picking up new fans every day. Now is the time to catch this wave of popularity. It will probably never become the next big thing, but it may still become the next cool thing from a niche perspective. That should mean a lot of new opportunities opening up.

It is a fascinating sport with a lot of volatility.
It is actually pretty hard to make predictions about surfing competition outcomes. While that can make it a challenge to bet on, it does make for an exciting experience.

No two events are alike.
With many other professional sports, a great deal of time and effort goes into keeping conditions as controlled and consistent as possible. But surfing is the exact opposite. It is all about chaos and variability and how athletes adapt. No two waves are the same, which means that no two surfing events feel repetitiousness.

It is a blast to watch.
Finally, you will enjoy watching surfing competitions to study the sport, plan your wagers, and see live to see how they unfold. It is a sport dominated by impressive feats and dazzling visual spectacles.

What are Some Top Surfing Competitions to Bet On?

Most of the action you will find on surfing will be for WSL competitions. These may include:

  • WSL Men’s Championship Tour (CT)
  • WSL Women’s Championship Tour (CT)
  • WSL Men’s Qualifying Series (QS)
  • WSL Women’s Qualifying Series (QS)
  • WSL Men’s Longboard Championships
  • WSL Women’s Longboard Championships
  • WSL Junior Championship
  • WSL Big Wave Tour

Along with WSL events, you can now wager on surfing during the Summer Olympic Games.

You may also sometimes encounter action on some other major surfing competitions.

Popular Types of Surfing Bets

4 year old Joao Vitor from Brazil.
Apparently he’ll be someone to keep your eye on in a few years!

Now you know some of the events that you can wager on in professional surfing. But what types of bets can you place? Below are some of the most popular types of surfing bets.

  • Futures:
  • As you already observed, futures bets are popular for professional surfing competitions. With this type of wager, you place your bet well in advance of an event. It could be weeks or months before it takes place. It is difficult to win this type of wager since so many things can change before the event happens. But a futures bet can have a significant payoff if you get it right.

  • Overall Winner:
  • For quite a few surfing competitions, the main type of wager that will be available is on the overall winner for the entire event. This can actually be quite a difficult wager to win since surfing can be so unpredictable.

  • Top 3:
  • Sometimes, betting sites will allow you to wager on the top three competitors rather than just the overall winner. Naturally, this is particularly common with Olympics betting. But you might sometimes run into it with other surfing competitions too.

  • Head-to-head:
  • One type of wager that may give you a better chance of winning than trying to predict the overall winner is head-to-head betting. With this type of bet, all you have to do is try and figure out which of two surfers will outperform the other.

  • Props:
  • At the time of this writing, proposition bets for surfing competitions do not seem to be widespread. But as surfing continues to become more popular, perhaps prop bets will become commonplace. When you place a prop wager, you are simply betting on something that is unrelated to the final outcome of the event.

  • Accumulators:
  • For some events, you might be able to incorporate surfing bets into accumulators. These types of wagers include multiple selections. If all of the selections are winners, so is the accumulator bet. If any of them loses, so does the whole wager. Although these types of bets are hard to win, they pay out well. Keep your stake sizes small.

At the time of this writing, there still is not a huge amount of variety with respect to types of surfing bets. There also are not a ton of small competitions to bet on. But surfing remains a niche market. We can definitely say that it is growing swiftly, however. So, we hope that over the years to come, we will see more variety both in terms of events to wager on and types of bets to place.

Surfing Betting Strategies

You are going to need to come up with your own in-depth strategies for handicapping surfing events. But we can offer a few basic pointers:

  • Monitor the weather and sea conditions.
  • This is a huge factor in what happens during a surfing event. Pay attention to the currents, the wind, and even the air temperature and whether it is cloudy or sunny. Surfing takes place in a living, dynamic environment that is constantly transforming. The more you can grasp about how the ever-changing conditions impact surfers, the better. You also should always look up the latest forecasts before you wager. Just do not forget that it only takes a small deviation from the forecast during a surfing event to change everything. For that matter, even a sudden unexpected gust of wind or shift in the current during a heat can have a dramatic effect.

  • Learn all you can about the surfers.
  • Study their individual strengths and weaknesses, follow what they are doing as they train, and learn how they perform in different conditions. In fact, you might want to try placing some head-to-head bets when they are available, as you will be able to put more depth into your research than if you tried to study all of the competitors.

  • Shop the odds.
  • This recommendation applies across the board for all sporting events you can wager on, and surfing is no exception. You may find more competitive odds on some sites than others, and your job is to hunt for value. One way you can facilitate this process is to sign up for accounts at multiple sports betting sites. Doing so will ensure that it is fast and easy to wager at the most competitive odds you find when the moment arrives.

  • Try surfing yourself sometime.
  • There are few better ways to get insights into a sport than to try it. If you happen to live near the beach, see if you can take a few surfing lessons. Even if that is all you ever do, you will immediately gain a much better understanding of what is involved with the sport. This will allow you to make more intelligent predictions.

Bet on Surfing Now

Right now, people all around the globe are finally discovering the excitement of surfing competitions — and it is finally possible to wager on those events in the USA.

Ready to catch the wave of online surfing betting? Visit any of the sportsbooks in this post to sign up for your account, claim your bonus, and start wagering now!

And Let’s Teach You a Little More About These Sports As Well!

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