How to Bet on Surfing

Top Tips

What You Need to Know

  1. The ASP season offers plenty of great opportunities for sports betting, especially around major events such as the World Championships or the Pipe Masters
  2. If you want to enjoy the greatest variety of odds, sign up for a sports betting account. Check out this guide to the best sports betting sites and take advantage of some great introductory offers
  3. The simplest bet to make is to put money on one surfer to win an individual heat or a competition
  4. However, if you want to boost your potential winnings, consider putting money on an accumulator bet
  5. Most bookies will also offer Futures Betting. For the biggest events, the sportsbook may open seven weeks, if not months, in advance
  6. Reading up on a surfer's recent form and checking the weather conditions are both great ways of improving your chances of winning
  7. Do remember that, like with all types of gambling, betting on surfing can become addictive, so always bet responsibly

Betting on Surfing

Surfing may not seem like the most obvious sport to have a flutter on, but it's perfect for everything from a casual flutter to a serious, big-money wager.

Indeed, just of the things that makes surfing so good for betting is that it's an individual sport. This means that you can do your research and follow one surfer, getting to know their form and how they perform in different conditions. Such knowledge can give you the edge when betting on a competition

The Association of Professional Surfing (ASP) is the sport's governing body, home to big stars such as Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning. The pro season runs from March through to December, during which time you have plenty of chances to have a gamble. However, if you want the best selection of betting markets and the chance to compare the odds on offer from different bookies, you should look out for the biggest tournaments. Highlights of the professional surfing calendar include: 

  • The Quicksilver Pro: This is held in Australia each March
  • Rip Curl Pro: Also held in Australia at the end of March
  • Volcom Fiji Pro: Held each June in Fiji
  • Hurley Pro: Taking place every September in California
  • Billabong Pipe Masters: The season close, held in Hawaii in December 

Where to Bet

In the UK, very few high street bookmakers will advertise odds on surfing, even during the biggest events. If you go online, however, you will be able to find a number of bookies offering a good selection of betting markets right throughout the professional surfing season.

Understanding the Odds

Before you make a bet on surfing, you need to know what you're doing. The most important thing is to know all about how odds work and what they mean.

On most sports betting sites, the odds will be expressed as fractions. Or they could be expressed as decimal points or even in the American style. In all cases, however, you should be able to change the settings to suit you. Here's what each of these mean:

1) Fractional Odds

On nearly all UK sports betting sites you will find that the default setting for displaying the odds will be as fractions. Odds displayed this way show you how much you will win on a bet compared to how much you put on. Quite simply, The first number of the fraction indicates how much you will win if you place the amount of money shown in the second number of the fraction.

So, if the odds for Surfer A winning a specific tournament heat are 3/1, this means if you bet £1, you will receive £3 in winnings (and you will get your original stake back on top of this). This works on a ratio basis. So, if you place £10 at odds of 3/1, you will receive £30 in winnings. Or, if you place £5 at odds of 8/1, your winnings will be £40, plus your initial stake.

For example, if you put £2 down on odds of 1/2, your winnings will be £1. And again, this works on a ratio basis. So, if you put down £60 at the same odds, you will win £30, plus your initial stake.

2) Decimal Odds

Decimal odds may look complicated to begin with, but they are very easy to understand.

The way it works is that you just need to multiply your stake by the decimal shown and this is how much you will receive in winnings, including your returned stake.

So, if you put £1 down on odds of 3.00, you will win £3.00, including your initial stake, if your prediction comes true. And again, this works on a ratio basis. So, if you put down £15 at the same odds of 3.00, you will win £45, including your original stake.

Popular Types of Bet

Like with most sports, bookies will be happy to take most bets on surfing. That said, some bets are more popular than others. Some of the most common types of surfing bet include:

1) Heat Winner

The easiest type of bet to make on surfing is to put money on one individual to win a single heat. In fact, it's estimated that around 90 per cent of all bets made on surfing are wagers on single heats rather than whole competitions. This type of bet may also be known as a Moneyline bet, a term that is common with US and Australian bookies.

For this type of bet, all you need to do is back one surfer to win a single heat. If you're correct, you will win at the odds that were initially quoted. Note that it doesn't matter how big or small the winning margin might be, so long as your man comes out on top, your bet is good.

2) Parlays/Accumulators

Single Heat Winner bets can offer unattractive odds, especially if it's someone like Kelly Slater in the early rounds of a major competition. To boost your potential winners, consider making an Accumulator bet, which may also be called a Parlay on some international betting sites.

The way this works is that you put money on the outcome of two or more heats, either with the same surfer or with different surfers. Say, for example, you put £10 on an accumulator for Kelly Slater to win his first heat and Mick Fanning to win his heat at odds of 3/1. If both do win their heats, then you walk away with £40, including your initial stake. However, if just one of them fails to win, your accumulator is off and you win nothing.

As always, the bigger the accumulator, the longer the odds and the greater your potential winnings. At the same time, however, the more individual bets you put in your accumulator, the greater the risk you will be taking with your money.

3) Futures Betting

As well as betting on individual heats, bookies will also allow you to have a wager on a whole competition. Putting money on an event due to happen at some point in the future is what's known as Futures Betting. Especially for the major events, bookies will open their books either several weeks or even several months in advance.

The odds will always fluctuate as surfers' form changes. Below we can see an example of the odds given for a Futures Betting market ahead of the ASP World Championships 2014. As you can see, Slater is the favourite. If you back him with £20 at the odds given, you will walk away with £75, including your original stake, if he does win the event.

Hints and Tips for Betting on Surfing

Even if there are some big favourites, there's no such thing as a sure thing when it comes to betting on a surfing competition. Upsets can and do happen, but you can improve your chances of taking money off the bookie. For example, you should always bear in mind:

  • Most events last a whole week, or even longer. Use this time to assess the form and, if you start to see a pattern, consider placing your accumulator bets in the final few rounds.
  • Assessing the weather and surf conditions can be a good way of boosting your chances. Make use of online weather reports and use this information with the form guide to pick a likely winner.
  • Signing up with more than one sports betting site will allow you to pick and choose from the best odds, as well as take advantage of different special offers.

A Quick Note About Responsible Betting

Just like all types of sports betting, putting money on surfing can potentially become addictive. This means you should always bet responsibly. Never gamble with money you can't afford to lose and never place a bet while under the influence of alcohol.

Important Information on Gambling

You must be 18+ to gamble and use the offers and betting odds featured

Every new gambling account offer has "Terms & Conditions" that will apply - make sure you read these before opening an account.

See for help and advice on problem gambling.

Please gamble responsibly.

Further Sports Betting Reading

Further Surfing Betting Reading


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