WSL Dubbed Corrupt For Dubious Judging

The WSL is no stranger to criticism when it comes to its judging. In virtually every event there is a heat that is deemed by online commentators (in varying numbers) to be dubiously judged, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen the ferocity of outcry from fans and big names alike that has emerged after yesterday at The Hurley Pro

Before we dive in to the criticism let’s recap on the heats that have specifically got peoples backs up:

First, Matt Wilkinson’s round two heat one loss to Brett Simpson, where he came up short by just 0.24 of a point. Then Julian Wilson’s loss to rookie Alex Ribiero, where he lost by a minuscule .05!

And finally, perhaps the most controversial, Medina’s round three loss to wild card Tanner Gudauskas, where fans (and the commentary team) were flabbergasted as Medina’s final wave was not scored just under what he needed to take the win and from this clip below, comparing Medina’s wave and a 8.67 from Tanner earlier in the hear, we can see why:


If you’d like to weigh in on the others hit up the WSL heat analyser here.

The first thing to note before we dive into the reaction is that when scores are this close, there’s always going to be ambiguity. I mean Wilson lost by a five hundredth of a point for crying out loud, there can be no clearer indication that it really could have gone either way. The ever diplomatic Joey Turpel highlighted exactly this in the post show analysis, stating of the Tanner Medina exchange: “Five judges on the panel, two judges clearly in favour of Tanner, one judge just by a tenth of a point in favour of the local boy, two judges had it on Medina on tie-break decisions, one on the highest single score.”

Still this wasn’t enough to cool tempers that were already flaring up on social media. First came general fury from the fans, leading to #corruptWSL trending on Instagram:

Next came the fire from the competitors with Julian Wilson kicking things off:

Wilko then replied on the post: “It is hard to accept when they make decisions that decide people’s lives and don’t take care to make the decision right and are not at all held accountable.” Ex-tour competitor Tom Carroll also joined the fray: “Right with you @Julian_Wilson this was a blatant hiccup for @wsl judging system. I feel deeply for @mattwilko and the look in his eyes during post heat interviews.” And here’s one of our favourite reactions from free-surfing extraordinaire (who because of his career choices doesn’t have to muzzle his opinions on the WSL) who really let rip:

Now in a further plot twist, thrown up by the boys at beachgrit, Julian and possibly Wilko could face retribution by the WSL as they have an article in their rulebook which states:

“Individuals bound by this Policy shall not engage in any conduct which could cause damage to the image of the sport of surfing. For purposes of this Article,damage to the image of the sport of surfing” is defined as any act, regardless of time or place, which casts the sport of surfing or WSL in a negative light. Without restricting the application of this Article, “damage to the sport of surfing” will include any comments or broadcast from social media accounts that the Surfer is responsible for.”

And anyone found in violation could face ‘Monetary Fines and Disqualification.’ and ‘Suspension and Expulsion.’ Ouch. We wait with baited breath to see if the WSL throws the book at the boys for venting on insty!

Since we doubt your a WSL competitor, why not throw your opinion into the hat in the comments below. Do you think the heats should be re-surfed? the judges fired? or the entire scoring system overhauled?!

  • Laird’s A Douche

    medina-they don’t want him to be the champ again, he is a dick and acts like a child and runs groms over at lowers and gives whack interviews and american kids are not into his bs. Adriano is a class act. John John, is a class act. Wilko is a class act, so Laird gets why Crabby Medickhead gets screwed, but don’t rob wilko, surfing needs wilko, more than ever. If laird got robbed in a heat, he would take the foil off his board levitate into the judges stand and get medieval that is why laird gets tens, nothing but 10’s – bitches

  • Michaelllange

    It isn’t about rules and regulation, it isn’t about dislike the guy mugged by the worst scandal in pro surfing judgement ever. Its about justice! Fairness! Love for the sport! Its about respect and careness for everybody! These people are leading the greatest sport on Earth to a UFC, FIA, FIFA like ending. The League of shame hasn’t even got the courage to release a statement to explain how they got it so wrong! They don’t have the balls to face thousands of angry fans in which the sport depend upon to say either sorry or agree to review the wave. No. Nothing! Just like Kim Jong-un wouldn’t, they feel like they don’t have to say anything. Its absurd! The whole championship risks losing credibility for this single and utterly unacceptable result. The whole WSL table of directors should stand in shame and resine for the sake of the sport.

  • Andre Farias

    Forget about nationality, forget about if you like Gabi or not. He trainned so hard to have this moment, and for some kind of corruption, they changed the result badly. We can’t support corruption just because we don’t like each other!!! It was the worst judgement in the history of the surf. Independent who was surfing, nationality, or if the guy is good or bad, this is totally wrong. He deserved to win this heat and WSL needs to explain what the h. happened here!!!

  • Diego Cano

    Congrats wsl, proving once again that u actually CAN SCRIPT THIS!! money rules the circuito, shame on wsl, shame on Samsung, shame on swatch!! WSL – WORLD SHAME LEAGUE

More Like This

Harry de Roth at Home

Harry de Roth at Home

Harking from St Ives in West Cornwall, Harry De Roth has surfed breaks all round the Cornish coast throughout his youth, attracting attention with his success in competitions across the UK. Here’s To Home is an ode to the breaks he calls home before he flees the nest out across the globe. Directed, filmed and […]