Entering surf competitions, like with most competitions, is a big step. Competitions ranging from amateur to professional rank usually require the same amount of skill. In short, even if you rank in an amateur division, you generally need the same level of skill as a professional to even place. However, there are great routines that any good surfer can do to be sure that their skills bring them to the top of the surf charts.
Firstly, it is so important to be fit and to have a lot of endurance. Working out and practicing as much as possible can be good ways to commit to staying fit. The best workouts are those designed to mimic surfing itself. Daily push ups and dumb bell lifts are very effective workouts for surf-ready fitness. Sprinting and swimming at least twice a week are also very effective ways to increase a surfer's endurance.
Understanding strength, as important as it is, is equally as important as understanding the basics of surf competition rules. Firstly, there must always be a proof of age. Most divisions are ranked based on different age groups. Secondly, it is important to know that any boards that exceed 2ft over a competitor's height will not be allowed in age division events. Lastly, any competitor who is uncertain of these rules will have access to them by request. So be sure to take advantage of that if need be.
A competition is judged based on the tricks that a competitor preforms. A competitor is also judged on the strength and speed of his/her tricks on certain wave heights. For example, if two competitors perform the same trick, then the one that could perform the trick on the largest wave as quickly as possible would be the victor. Remember that judges take these rules and criteria very seriously, and as a competitor you should as well.
Be advised that some contests can continue through the night. Spot lights are the general method of lighting when these situations occur. These high intensity, bright lights can cast light for miles. Take advantage of this. If your competition is in a more well lit area, then you probably wont be judged the way you need to be. Thus, be prepared to stay awhile. This is why it's so important to keep fit. Competitions can be finished in just over a full 24-hour day with no rest if certain conditions are met. It gets incredibly intense.
Note that there is a high level of danger that can be associated with surfing. Certain weather will bring the best waves, and that's what most surfers are looking for. However, the same weather can also throw a surfer off and ultimately end his/her life. Take for example the 2005 incident involving a man killed by powerful swells. In any case surfing can be an amazingly merciless sport.