10 Perfect Ten’s: The Best Waves Ever Ridden in Competitive Surfing

Judging competitive surfing is difficult. There are complex criteria to follow when trying to determine the score a surfer has just earned on any given wave. Commitment and degree of difficulty, innovation and progression of manoeuvres, combination of major manoeuvers – the list goes on.

But sometimes there is only one score to be given. No consultation or consideration required. The judges simply throw their hands in the air and in unison announce: “ten”.

And here is a collection of the best of the best – 10 perfect ten point rides.

1) It’s difficult to score perfection with just one manoeuvre, here is Julian Wilson showing us how it can be done. He throws a huge air and lands without faltering, earning him the maximum 10 points at the 2013 Rip Curl Pro in Portugal.


2) Owen Wright gets behind the green curtain for nearly 10 seconds, you won’t find many barrels longer than this. A point for every second in the tube at the Fiji Pro, Cloudbreak.

3) Brazilian Gabriel Medina somehow comes out of this deepest of Hawaiian tubes on his way to being crowned the 2014 World Champion.

4) Joel Centeio takes off on a bomb and gets blasted out of the barrel at Backdoor to earn him his perfect 10 point ride.

5) Nobody expected to see Kelly Slater emerge from this tube, the hollowest example of a Brazilian wave. After disappearing behind the white water he somehow reappeared to claim his 10 points.


6) Powerful carves, a couple of cover ups, massive re-entry; Joel Parkinson demonstrates his diversity tearing up this Portuguese monster.

7) Another miraculous escape. It’s not possible to get deeper and reappear (still on your feet) the right side of the foam ball. CJ Hopgood demonstrates exactly how to score the maximum at Teahupoo.

8) Frenchman Antoine Delpero shows us what the perfect wave on a longboard looks like. A series of graceful turns, high energy performance manoeuvres and sticking some toes over the front of the board results in him being handed a 10 point ride. The view from the drone isn’t bad either.

9) Kelly Slater and John John Florence go head to head in Tahiti in one of the greatest heats ever seen in competitive surfing. Two killer drops, two amazing cover ups… and two perfect 10’s. Honours even.

10) Gabriel Medina busts out his aerial game to show why he’s the reigning world champion. The height, rotation and speed as he takes to the air defies belief.

Tom Keyes

Recently returned to the UK after several years chasing waves in Asia, Tom takes inspiration from living on the doorstep of Cornwall's finest beaches to write articles and features on all thing surf related. Regularly featured on Surfing Sections and The Inertia his work has been viewed and shared by... Read more

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