Grab your wetsuit & board and head down to Newquay for the annual BUCS Surfing Championships!

Event Guide

Competitors must complete the BUCS Surf Competitor Disclaimer Form before competing.


Please note that the running order and timings are subject to change due to variable surf conditions. BUCS advises that you keep checking the event website, BUCS social media channels, visit the event noticeboard at the competition and listen to the commentary team for important announcements. Any changes to the schedule in the week before the event, BUCS will endeavour to communicate via email to all competitors.




08:00 – 08:30

Registration for all competitors.


Captains Briefing


Men’s Round One - On standby Women’s Round One - please keep checking Live Heats for updated times


Beach Clean


Event Close





Women’s Round One - Remaining heats

Men’s Round Two

Men’s Round Three

Women’s Round Two

Men’s Round Four


Beach Clean






Men’s Quarters

Women’s Semis

Men’s Semis

Women’s Final

Men’s Final


14:00 (approx.)



Please note these timings are subject to change.


Each member of each surf club must bring their own valid student ID to registration on Friday 13th October between 08:00 – 08:30am.

This will take place on the beach in the BUCS tent.

Failure to register at the start of the day AND before your heat will mean that you are not able to compete. 

There will be a £20 fine for all no shows in the heats, and £25 for no shows for quarter final, semi-final and Final.


A competitors athletic / students union must make competitor withdrawals by emailing Luke Gallen.


Withdrawals before the IA approval deadline, 28 September 2023 at 11:59pm will not be charged.

Withdrawals after the IA approval deadline 28 September 2023 at 11:59pm and before midday on the 11 October September 2023 will be fined £10 and will still be charged the entry fee.

Competitors who do not withdraw before midday on the 11 October 2023 and do not attend registration will be classed as a late withdrawal/ no show and therefore will be charged the entry fee and will also be fined £20 which will be charged after the event to the competitor’s athletic union.

Should a withdrawal be accompanied with a valid doctor’s note, no fine will be given but the entry fee will still be charged.

Events & BUCS Points Available

A breakdown of BUCS Points awarded can be found on Appendix 1

Individuals will automatically be entered into the team competitions, provided there are enough eligible individuals from that institution to comprise a team. Please note the following team compositions:

Men’s Overall Team – The team placing shall be determined by the highest cumulative score for three surfers from the same institution.

Women’s Overall Team – The team placing shall be determined by the highest cumulative score for three surfers from the same institution.

Please note that BUCS points will not be allocated where the minimum number of competitors has not been reached, and where there are not enough individual scores to extract a team score. Furthermore, an individual/team must have beaten another individual/team to score BUCS points (i.e. if 3 individuals finish an event, only 2 will score BUCS points). Similarly, medals will be awarded according to the accrual of BUCS Points. For example if there are only three entries in an event only Gold and Silver medals will be awarded.

Judging Key Concepts

Surfers must perform to the BUCS Judging Key Concepts to maximize their scoring potential. Judges analyse the following major concepts when scoring waves:

- Speed, Power and Flow

- Innovative/ Progressive Manoeuvres

- Combination of Major Manoeuvres

- Variety of Manoeuvres

- Commitment and Degree of Difficulty


It is important to note that the emphasis on certain concepts is contingent upon the location and the conditions on the day, as well as changes of conditions during the day.

Competitor Information

Heat length: 20/15 minutes (please confirm with beach marshal/ listen to the announcements)

Horns: one to start the heat and two to finish.  There will be a gap of at least 30 seconds between each heat.

Disc: Green at the start of the heat, then red for the last five minutes. No disc between heats.

Disc position: If you are not sure of the position of the timing disc, please ask the beach marshal to show you.

Wave maximums: Best 2 waves are scored from a maximum of 15. If you ride over the wave maximum you will not be scored for those waves. If you then take waves that could have been taken by another surfer (who has not had 15 waves) then you could be called for interference.

Please confirm the wave maximums from the Beach Marshall prior to your heat as they could change due to conditions. If possible we will endeavour to inform surfers when they have surfed their penultimate waves but we can make no guarantees - It is up to the surfer to count his/her own waves.

Paddle out time: Usually 5 minutes before the end of the heat in the water. During the paddle out please keep well clear of the surfers competing or you could be called for interference. Any changes to the paddle out time will be communicated to surfers at the event.

Vests: You must wear your heat vest in the correct way, i.e. the right way round, from the Beach Marshall’s area and keep your vest on until you return at the end of your heat. Please be prompt in returning your vest.

Interference: As per the ASP rulebook, i.e. surfer on the inside has unconditional right of way. Prone in at the end of the heat. Please note, all interferences will be called. Once you have scored two interferences then you will leave the water or else disqualification will occur.

Disqualification: At the discretion of the Contest Director and Head Judge(s) based on conduct during the event under the rule “Bringing the sport into disrepute” (See rule book). Protest forms and to be lodged at the Beach Marshall within One Hour of the notification of the decision, in exceptional circumstances this deadline can be extended but the heat draw will not, under any circumstances, be replayed.

Caddies: No caddies in the water. Caddies only allowed when a surfer loses or breaks a board.

General surfing safety information:

  1. All surfers must be able to swim at least 50 metres in open water.
  2. Keep your surfing equipment in good condition.
  3. Always wear a surf leash to prevent you from losing your surfboard.  For you your board is a safety device, to others it may be a lethal weapon.
  4. Have consideration for other water users including anglers.
  5. Never surf alone
  6. Never surf immediately after eating a meal.
  7. Always return to the beach before nightfall.
  8. Never mix surfing with alcohol or drugs.  Anyone suspected to have consumed either will be removed from the competition immediately.
  9. Always wear a wetsuit when surfing in Britain.
  10. If you are new to the sport never hire a surfboard without first having a surfing lesson. (Given by a qualified instructor)
  11. Be considerate of other beach users especially when carrying your board to and from the water.
  12. When possible use a lifeguard patrolled beach. Obey the lifeguard’s instructions and be prepared to assist them if required.
  13. Where possible, surf in a recognised surfing area (e.g. in between the black and white checked flags).
  14. When paddling out avoid surfers who are riding waves.
  15. When taking a wave see that you are clear of other surfers. Remember, if someone else is already riding the wave you must not take off.
  16. Be environmentally friendly. Always leave the beach and other areas as you would wish to find them.

Board & Wetsuit Hire

This is available from Fistral Beach at the following costs for BUCS Surf Competitors:

Beginner board

1 day - £8 with wetsuit £12

2 days - £14 with wetsuit £22

3 days - £20 with wetsuit £30

Improver board

1 day - £10 with wetsuit £15

2 days - £16 with wetsuit £25

3 days - £22 with wetsuit £33

Intermediate Board

1 day - £14 with wetsuit £20

2 days - £22 with wetsuit £30

3 days - £29 with wetsuit £38


With the hire it can be kept away overnight or if it is easier left at the shop.

Anyone who hires the above will also get use of their changing rooms, safe bag storage & warm showers.


Spectators are welcomed at this event. It is not ticketed and Fistral Beach is open to the public. 


The car park for the beach is pay & display. Please see the information boards in the car park for information on how to pay.

Photography and Media Accreditation

During this event, various filming, photography and broadcasting may take place. By being present at this event, you grant permission for your likeness and voice to be included in pictures and / or on film, and BUCS/partners advertising without compensation or credit.

If you are heading down to Fistral this weekend to take photos, film or any other media related activities, please ensure that you complete the BUCS Media Accreditation form.


Rules & Regulations

The Rules & Regulations for BUCS Surf can be found here.

Our Commitment to Environmental Sustainability

The sustainability of our event matters to us and these are the positive steps we are taking to manage our environmental impact: 

  • All staff and volunteers are encouraged to travel to the event via public transport 

  • We have used local suppliers where possible 

  • Event programmes are all online, minimising paper use 

How can you help at this event? Here’s some ideas:  

  • Be self-sufficient by using refillable bottles and coffee cups to reduce waste 

  • Travel smarter – as a team on a minibus, cycle or use public transport 

  • Go paperless - use your phone for all event information