Definition of a Sport
I think first off we must consider the definition of what a sport is. The two most common definitions I found were from reference.com:
an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature
and from wikipedia:
A sport is an organized, competitive, entertaining, and skillful physical activityrequiring commitment and fair play, in which a winner can be defined by objective means. It is governed by a set of rules or customs
Where Does Surfing Fall?
Under the first definition I would have to agree that surfing is considered a sport. However, when looking at the definition given on Wikipedia I would hesitate to call surfing a sport because in a competitive arena there is no objective way by which to define a winner.
In surfing competitions surfers are scored on a scale of 1 to 10 based on a surfer’s ability to execute the most radical maneuvers with speed, power, and flow in the most critical sections of a wave. This is definitely not an objective scoring system. However, I must say that for the most part, whenever I watch a surf competition the judges do coincide about which surfer surfed the best in a particular heat, so maybe there’s no need for objectivity.
Is It, or Is It Not?
All things considered I don’t think it matters whether surfing is considered a sport or not because surfing can be different things for different people. For some it may be a job, for others it may be a recreational hobby, and for others it may be a way of life. People from all walks of life enjoy gliding across the face of a wave, and the important thing is to continue doing so.
Let’s forget about putting a label to surfing. Instead, leave us a comment telling us what surfing is for you.