Like taxi drivers, hoteliers and … gulp … print journalists, surf contest judges may soon find their livelihoods endangered by the digital age. That's because a national surf contest that began Tuesday is being "judged" by a computer app.
Through the end of the year, 26 surfers between the ages of 13 and 16 are using Trace, an action sports tracker, to objectively log their best results in waters throughout the country. Through this digital scoring, the first-ever Trace Up / Stack Up national surf contest has each surfer competing for cash prizes awarded in these categories: most waves caught, number of turns, max speed on a single wave, best video with Trace overlay and best overall performance.
The category winners at the end of the month will compete in a final heat at the Shoe City Pro in Huntington Beach this January to determine the overall winner.
"We wanted to create an objective surf contest where surfers from any location could participate," explains Trace executive Brad Blankinship. "The Trace Surf App has leader boards in several categories so every maneuver from every participant can be tracked. The response has been great and we think this is only the beginning."
See what I mean, flesh and blood surf judges? Take it from someone who feels like a buggy whip salesman at the time automobiles took over.
Speaking of taking over, father and son David Lokshin and Anatole Lokshin, the former CTO and VP of Magellan Navigation, in 2011 co-founded AlpineReplay Inc., the Huntington Beach company behind the Trace app. Learn more about their contest at TraceUp.com.
For those keeping score at home (literally!), participating surfers follow on the next page …