Surfing contests involve riders competing one-on-one or in small groups, with a certain amount of time to find and catch waves to demonstrate their surfing ability. Competitors are judged according to how competently the wave is ridden, including the level of difficulty, as well as frequency of maneuvers. Professional surfers compete on the world surfing championship held annually at surf breaks around the world.
Although competitive surfing has become an extremely popular and lucrative activity, both for its participants and its sponsors, the sport does not have its origins as a competitive pursuit. It is common to hear debate rage between purists of the sport, who still maintain the ideal of "soul surfing", and surfers who engage in the competitive and, consequently, commercial side of the activity . An organisation called the Spirit of Surfing has chosen not to accept surf label sponsorship, since an association of that sort could detract from the sentiment they wish to promote.
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- ↑ Billion Dollar Breakers: The Professional Surfing World Background Briefing, ABC Radio National, Sunday, 13 April, 1997