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New Surf Ranch Event Format Explained for WSL 2023

World Surf League: New Surf Ranch Pro 2023 Format and Event Dates Announced

The World Surf League (WSL) has announced a new format for their wave pool competition which is aimed at making the event more exciting and viewer-friendly. The new format will be put to the test for the first time at the upcoming Surf Ranch Pro event, which is scheduled to go down on May 27-28, 2023.
Take a look as we break down everything you need to know!

Why a New Format for WSL Surf Ranch Pro?

The strategy behind a new format is largely to simplify things for viewers and fans while still remaining a challenging event for the athletes. It’s also gender-equal, with the men’s and women’s competitions featuring the same rules, the only difference being the number of athletes competing on the women’s side.
Overall, the new format is designed to be more engaging and exciting for viewers, with plenty of head-to-head matchups in the Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Finals adding to the drama. A simpler format is also expected to make it easier for casual viewers to understand the rules and follow the action.

New WSL Surf Ranch Event Format 2023 Explained

Qualifying Round

The competition will begin with the Qualifying Round. This round will consist of six heats for men and three heats for women, each featuring four athletes.
Each athlete will get four waves consisting of two lefts and three rights, alternating starting with lefts. Each athlete will then surf two waves at a time in their heat rotation.
Scores are calculated as a total heat score, which consists of an athlete’s highest left wave score plus their highest right wave score, for a total of up to 20.00, meaning each wave score is a max of 10.00.
Based on scoring, the surfer in first place from each heat will advance to the Quarterfinals for men and the Semifinals for women, which will begin on the second day of the competition. The surfer in fourth place will be eliminated, while the surfers in second and third place will advance to the Night Round.

Night Round

In the Night Round, the remaining surfers from the Qualifying Round who have not gone directly to the Quarterfinals will compete in a single leaderboard format and will consist of 12 athletes for men and 6 athletes for women in total.
There are no heats and only one single leaderboard. Each athlete will surf one left wave and one right wave. Their score will then be based on the single best wave, with a maximum score of 10.00. The surfers in first and second place for men will advance to the Quarterfinals, and the surfer in first place for women will advance to the Semifinals, while everyone else will be eliminated.

Quarterfinals, Semifinals & Finals

Kicking off day two, the men’s Quarterfinals will consist of four heats, each featuring two athletes. Due to the reduced number of women’s athletes, there are no women’s Quarterfinals, they start with the Semifinals.
Each surfer will ride four waves, alternating between left and right waves. The score will be based on the highest left wave score and the highest right wave score combined, with a maximum score of 20.00, the same as the Qualifying Round.
The surfer with the highest score from each heat will advance in the bracket.
Finals will consist of the last head-to-head matchup and will ultimately determine the overall winner of the Surf Ranch Pro competition.

Surf Ranch WSL Event Dates 2023

The Surf Ranch Pro 2023 event will take place at the Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California, which is an artificial wave pool. Wave pools are capable of creating perfect waves that are consistent yet challenging, making it an ideal location for a surfing competition.
Schedule of Events
  • Qualifying Round – Saturday, May 27, 7 am – 10 pm
  • Quarterfinals, Semifinals, Finals – Sunday, May 28, 10 am – 3:30 pm
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