The SURFING Ratings System

ELECTRIC BLUE HEAVENDion in Joe G’s “Electric Blue Heaven”. Call us nostalgic, but it’s still one of our faves. Photo: DJ Struntz

When it comes to the online edit, our surf-porn landscape still feels like the Wild Wild West. What should I watch? What should I skip? What did I miss? In the interest of clarity, we set out to create the clearest, most comprehensive platform for surf video consumption. SURFING’s new rating system will serve as your one-stop shop for every worthy video that sweeps the web.

Our system will help delineate the many variables that distinguish between good and great, and it’s a platform where we’ll store all edits in one, easy to navigate landscape. That said, we understand there is no perfect system for this type of thing. Surfing and cinematography are subjective pursuits, but we will do our best remain impartial and grade every video on the same scale — in this case, a 1-100% basis.

We’ve put a lot of thought into the best way to objectively judge surf videos, and here’s where we’ve landed:

Scoring Criteria

Surfing: 50%
We wanted to make sure that on-wave performance trumped all other aspects of the grading scale. We’ve spent over 53 years celebrating the world’s most progressive surfing, and there’s no reason to stop now. This category includes style, technique, maneuvers, creativity, and any other factor that pertains to high quality surfing.

Example of high surfing quality:
Twelve John at home

Production value: 30%
Regardless of surfing quality, no video can be truly world-class without the touch of a superior lensman and editor. This category comes down to camera quality, filming quality, song choice, entertainment value, creativity, flow, direction and anything else that sets an edit apart, from a production standpoint.

Example of high production value:
Electric Blue Heaven

Wave quality: 20%
How good can a clip really be in mediocre waves? Great surf will always be entertaining, and will be rewarded here.

Example of high wave quality:
Teahupoo du ciel