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How to Start With Surfing Betting

Full Guide and Top Surfing Betting Sites in April 2024

When online sportsbooks emerged, it was practically impossible to find surfing betting. Platforms focused on popular sports, like football, basketball, and tennis, only adding niche sports like snooker, Aussie rules, chess, and handball over time.

But as surfing grew as a pro sport in recent years, it finally caught the attention of top-class betting platforms. 

Surfing debuted at the Tokyo Olympics and will also be part of the Paris Games this summer (albeit the event will take place in Tahiti). It is now a multibillion-dollar industry, with the World Surf League (WSL) as its governing body devoted to representing the best surfing talent in the most diverse array of competitive formats. 

Therefore, surfing is slowly emerging as a mainstream sport, naturally followed by a growing interest in surf betting.

If you’re a fan of surfing and want to cash in on your wave-riding knowledge, we have just the list. Below, you’ll find the top legitimate surfing betting sites where the tide of excitement never ebbs.

How to Start With Surfing Betting

Despite the sport’s increased popularity in recent years, surfing is still a rare find on online sportsbooks. Luckily, you don’t have to wander around, as we’ve already done the homework and listed all the top surfing betting platforms. Pick one (or several) based on your preferences and sign up.

The registration is pretty straightforward — you need to share a few personal details so the operator can confirm your identity. These include your name, email, residential address, and phone number, and a scan of a government-issued photo ID for validation. Don’t worry; we’ve ensured these sites are safe and legit. Your data will be kept confidential at all times.

Before you can paddle out into the world of surfing betting, you must establish a bankroll. Once your account is up and running, visit the deposit page, pick a payment method (credit/debit card, e-wallet, bank transfer, etc.), and lay down your first deposit. Most sportsbooks will let you top up your account with as little as $5 or $10, while almost all of them will also treat you with a welcome bonus.

Now comes the main part. Find surfing among the list of sports, pick a competition, and explore the available betting markets. Once you decide on a bet, like Barron Mamiya winning the Lexus Pipe Pro, click or tap on the corresponding odds, and you’ll see your wager show up on the betting slip. The final step is to type in your stake and submit the bet.

How We Rate Surf Betting Sites

Our criteria for picking top surfing betting sites differed slightly from our analysis of top books for popular sports like football or baseball. First, we had to find sportsbooks that offer surfing betting. Once we piled them up (if you can even call it a pile), we ranked them based on several factors that we believe are most crucial for this particular sport.

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Steer Clear of Offshore Books 

There are more offshore sportsbooks than regulated ones. Therefore, it’s easier to find surf betting sites licensed in places like Curacao and Panama than US-based ones. These sites will tempt you with lucrative promotions and great odds and promise traceless banking via cryptocurrencies.

However, there’s a flip side to all of this. Offshore books can never be legal, and even though your state’s statutes may not expressly prohibit the use of foreign betting sites, you still won’t be on the right side of the law. You will also risk running into rogue sites that only want to scam you through confusing terms and conditions and unusual payment delays.

Meanwhile, licensed US sportsbooks are bound by strict regulations, so you never have to worry about them taking advantage of you.

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Number of Surfing Events and Betting Markets

Some platforms may include surfing on their list of sports, but that doesn’t mean they’ll cover much of it. They may offer a few markets during the Olympic Games and prominent events like Billabong Tahiti Pro. Still, they will have their surfing tab vacant for less popular events like the Surf City El Salvador Pro, for example.

This also applies to the number of betting options. Most sportsbooks will just include the event winner market, while others may offer a little more diversity and feature markets like top 3 and head-to-head.

Our criterion here is simple — the more surfing events and the deeper market selection, the better.

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Quality of Surfing Odds

Another part of our analysis was sifting through the prices and identifying sportsbooks whose odds break in your favor. 

However, not all sportsbooks offer the best surfing betting odds at all times. That’s why you should visit each top-performing betting site from our list to see where the best odds are for a particular bet you want to make. This is called odds shopping and is one of the best tactics sharp bettors use to ensure the highest possible return.

Surfing-Friendly Bonuses

Not all bonuses on an online sportsbook can be applied to all sports. For instance, top US betting sites may offer promotions that exclusively apply to football or basketball during the Super Bowl or the NBA Playoffs.

It’s almost certain that you won’t find any surf-specific bonuses, but you can hope for a bonus to extend to all types of sports, bets, and markets. For instance, you may find a 100% match deposit bonus or a $100 bonus bet without any restrictions regarding which sports you use it on.

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Surfing Betting App

If you’re a fan of surfing, you’re probably not a couch potato and enjoy sitting out on a sunny beach watching the waves break. It’s great that nowadays, you don’t have to be tied to your PC to lay down a bet online. Nearly all top-rated sportsbooks in the US have iOS and Android apps that allow you to place a wager on the move.

If this is a priority for you, pick a sportsbook with the best-rated app. Betting apps can differ in user-friendliness, speed, and the number of features. It also helps to check the ratings and read through user reviews on app stores to better understand what to expect from a given mobile product.

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Carving Through Surfing Betting Odds

Are you a surf lover who doesn’t have the slightest idea of how betting odds work? Don’t fret, as it’s all quite simple, really. 

The odds on any surfing event and market will be provided in positive or negative numbers. A negative number implies the amount you must wager to gain a $100 profit, while a positive number shows how much you stand to win off a $100 bet.

If you bet on a favorite like Filipe Toledo to win his heat in the seeding round, you will probably get -350 or something along those lines, meaning a winning $350 bet will net a $100 profit. It’s quite a risk for such a low profit, but it’s as likely an outcome as any. 

On the other hand, backing a surfer like Leonardo Fioravanti to win his maiden Surf League event may come with odds of +700 or greater. This is a longshot bet, but that’s precisely why it’s rewarding, as correctly picking the Italian to win will yield a $700 profit off a $100 wager.

Keep in mind that the $100 sum is just a benchmark. You can bet as low as a dime on many US surfing betting sites, while the upper limit for a single bet can run in the hundreds of thousands.

Types of Surfing Bets

The market selection for surfing is much less diverse than for major sports like football or soccer. This has less to do with the popularity of surfing in the betting circles and more with the nature of the sport.

Team sports that utilize multiple statistical parameters are simply more suitable for a broad market selection, as you can bet on things like points, correct scores, or individual player performances. Surfing is much more straightforward, but there are still more than several ways to bet on an event. Here are some examples:

  • Overall winner: This is the most common surf bet. It involves picking the winner of a given event. Example: Jack Robinson to become the men’s champion at the Western Australia Margaret River Pro. You can take this bet during the event or days in advance.
  • Top X or finalists: If you’re unsure whether a surfer will win but are confident they’ll make it far, you can bet on them to reach the final or take one of the top few places.
  • Individual heat betting: The elimination phase in surfing events is usually divided into two- or three-surfer heats, and you can wager on the winners of respective heats.
  • Head-to-head: Bet on a surfer to place higher or accrue more points than one of their opponents. Example: Caitlin Simmers to rank better than Molly Picklum.
  • Props: While there isn’t much room for prop betting in surfing, we can potentially see some bets in the future that go beyond the norm and focus on smaller segments of a surfing competition. Although we haven’t seen such a market on sportsbooks we tested, betting over/under on the number of points a surfer collects in a given heat would make for an interesting wager.

WSL and How Surfing Betting Came to Be

As the competitiveness of surfing grew over the last few decades, there was a growing need to organize the sport with a more professional structure. 

Throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, the International Surfing Federation (now the International Surfing Association) was in charge of organizing the World Surfing Championships, which were held biennially. These were followed by the short-lived Smirnoff World Pro-Am Surfing Championships between 1973 and 1975. 

International Professional Surfers (IPS) was established in 1976 and stood out as the first governing body of professional surfing. The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) took over in the 80s and was crowning world champions until the WSL was created in 2015. Today, WSL also organizes lower-level competitions, like the WSL Challenger Series, for instance, but you’re unlikely to see these covered on any betting sites.

Surfing remained a leisure activity in the eyes of the general public, with very little interest in betting on it. But as the sport took a more professional form and grabbed the attention of fans and the broader sports-loving audience, it just naturally slid into sportsbook menus over time.

While it’s still not as widespread, surfing is increasingly recognized as a legitimate sport (it’s an Olympic sport, after all), and more betting sites are choosing to acknowledge it as such, expanding surfing betting options year by year.

2024 World Surf League Schedule

If you don’t want to miss out on any major surfing betting events, here’s a full WSF calendar schedule for 2024.

DateEvent (location)
Jan 29–Feb 10Lexus Pipe Pro (Banzai Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii)
Feb 12–22Hurley Pro Sunset Beach (Sunset Beach, Oahu, Hawaii)
Mar 6–16MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal (Supertubos, Peniche, Portugal)
Mar 26–Apr 5Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach (Bells Beach, Victoria, Australia)
Apr 11–21Western Australia Margaret River Pro (Margaret River, WA, Australia)
May 22–31SHISEIDO Tahiti Pro (Teahupo’o, Tahiti, French Polynesia)
Jun 6–15Surf City El Salvador Pro (Punta Roca, La Libertad, El Salvador)
Jun 22–30VIVO Rio Pro (Saquarema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Aug 20–29Corona Fiji Pro (Cloudbreak, Tavarua, Fiji)
Sep 6–14Rip Curl WSL Finals (San Clemente, California, United States)

The Olympics affect this year’s schedule, with a break added in July. The surfing event at the Olympics will take place in Tahiti between July 27 and August 5, with 48 athletes competing for medals in men’s and women’s shortboard categories.

Another notable surfing event this year will be the ISA World Surfing Games in late February in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

FAQ

What are the best sportsbooks for surfing betting?

Surfing sportsbooks are few and far between, but we managed to find a few legitimate ones with a solid range of surfing betting markets and major surfing events throughout the year. You can find these books on our list above.

Can you bet on surfing legally in the United States?

Surfing betting is generally legal in the US everywhere where sports betting is legal. Over 30 states have legalized sports betting thus far, but keep in mind that not all of them feature sportsbooks with surf betting.

What are the most popular surfing bets?

The most popular surfing bet is predicting the overall winner of an event. You can also bet on whether a given surfer will finish in one of the top spots or if they’ll place higher than another surfer (head-to-head)

FAQ

Can I bet on surfing using my smartphone?

Yes, you can enjoy a nice sunny day outside and even watch a surfing event in person while taking bets via a surfing betting app on your phone or tablet.

Can I bet on surfing at multiple sportsbooks?

There’s no limit to how many surfing sportsbooks you can join. It’s actually smart to join as many of them as possible so you can quickly monitor the best possible surfing odds at any time.