28 September, 2013 28 September, 2013

Parko-Gate – ASP Judges Get It Wrong in France?


The ASP finds itself at the centre of a judging controversy once again, following Joel Parkinson’s Round 2 victory over local French surfer Marc Lacomare at the Quiksilver Pro France. The judges left fans – and the commentators – stumped after awarding Parko unusually high scores towards the end of the heat for rides that seem to pale in comparison to his opponent’s. Read the blog by a former ASP WORLD TOUR JUDGE calling foul on the incident:

The controversy comes after numerous claims of dodgy judging calls that repeatedly went Parko’s way during his 2012 title campaign, most notably for Saffa surf fans during his match-up with Jordy at Trestles last year, as well as his victory earlier this year in Bali, when he scored a perfect 20 –  despite falling on one of his scoring rides that still offerred high scoring potential.

Parko surfed smoothly, but the question remains whether his rides were worthy of the excellent scores he was awarded.

Of course, it’s no fault of the current world champ, as he doesn’t decide the scores. Yet Parko’s name keeps trending all over social networks as disgruntled surf fans voiced their opinion on the ‘travesty’ that unfolded in the weak Hossegor surf.

A petition has even been started to put an end to ‘corrupt’ ASP judging. See petition here.

Watch the heat review here, and decide for yourself if the judges made the right call, or if Lacomare was robbed.


  1. Dean Vincent
    28 September, 2013 at 9:23 am · Reply

    I watched heat live on Fuel Tv and was disgusted, Joel keeps getting over scored and commentators even laughed and said he is getting World Champ extra points…feel sorry for his opponent and the French spectators who were robbed! If they keep this up a lot of people will stop watching and supporting…ASP need you sort this out

  2. J
    28 September, 2013 at 10:53 am · Reply

    A current world champ is all Billabong has left. Would go a long way if tey maintain that title.

    • Sunova Surfboards Australasia
      4 October, 2013 at 8:51 am · Reply

      on the money j,on it

  3. peter
    28 September, 2013 at 6:58 pm · Reply

    JJF 8.10 ride was equally way overscored against wilko , complete joke !!!

  4. Tim Petersen
    30 September, 2013 at 10:38 am · Reply

    To all those that don’t know how surfing is scored:
    The Parko Scoring Method:

    Puts on Leash: 1 Points.
    Walks across Beach: 1 Point.
    Paddles Out: 2 Points. (I think that it’s more for dry hair)
    Catches Wave: 2 Points.
    Does Turns…we’ll he has done so much already, let’s give him an 8.5!?!?!?!

    How everyone else is scored:
    Surf Well, get points.

    Now you can score from home.

    Billibong looks like it’s spending the resources of it’s sinking ship in buying judges.

  5. zedron
    30 September, 2013 at 5:25 pm · Reply

    European surfers are fed up with the asp and its judges. We have no judges on tour (except one who sucks PArko too !) and our surfers are systematycally underevaluated… J. Florès has experienced this unfair judgement for a while… We thought things were changing a few years ago at a time when 7 european surfers were on the tour… but when the crisis fall down on the industry, australians and americans seemed to have found an agreement : to robb brazzos and europeans,” not enough money for every country, let’s not share the cake”. ASP should change this and fix it quickly otherwise europeans will boycott these events. If we have no chance to win, why would us encourage this mascarade ?

  6. Julianus claudius
    1 October, 2013 at 9:53 am · Reply

    Euros and brazilians should create a “rebel tour”. But then, seeing aussies or yanks being underscored would sucks as much! Money, bets, careers, sponsors, enough to biaised judging.
    Wilson won Portugal last year thanks to the judges, Parkinson was world champ thanks to the judges (just re-watch the Parkinson/Flores heat in Teahupoo, for instance), and so on…It gets boring, like when Wilson won his rd1 heat in France, it was so predictable! And I’m quite sure two backside hacks from Buchan will be enough to beat Medina in rd3!

  7. BD
    1 October, 2013 at 1:11 pm · Reply

    What about Logie and Medina’s heat, fair enough the judges
    have been giving10’s for big airs. But Medina’s second scoring ride 8+ for an average air?! Logie did 5 big turns in the pocket on his second scoring ride and was given a similar score! Scenario – Medina vs Slater, Medina gets a 10 for a one move wave and the next wave Slater pulls off 3 big turns and finishes with a big and better air better then Medina’s. What score do you give Slater?

    • Matt
      1 October, 2013 at 2:43 pm · Reply

      Completely different scenario. Nothing against Trav, but he was surfing his absolute best against Medina, but Medina’s single-turn waves were simply streets ahead of what TL is capable of. They wouldn’t have scored Medina’s waves that way if it was KS, JJF, Jordy etc in his heat because, as you say, Medina could get a 10 for 1 mental air, and then the other guy could do 2 and then they’ve nowhere to go. That was never going to happen in the GM v TL heat so the scores were legit. GM’s second score was only an 8.17 because his 10 for the same air was so absurd. If it wasn’t for the 10, Medina’s second waves would been >9.00 in my view.

      • BD
        1 October, 2013 at 4:06 pm · Reply

        Hi Matt, see your point! What about Mic Fanning vs Madina he is not known for big airs? Sad to see guys that don’t do big airs like Trav, MF, Hobgoods etc get left behind. Suppose they have to make way for new school. Big turns beats big airs!(old school)

        • Roger
          1 October, 2013 at 8:54 pm · Reply

          You really seem to have it in for Medina…how about Medina’s heat vs CJ last event? Medina got robbed big time…how about in round 1 vs Julian..again he was robbed. You seem to have a very biased view. The judges are supposed to reward progression, and after they gave travis an 8.5 for REPETITIVE turns on the wave (none of which were critical given the small size of the wave) they had no choice but to go high for Medina’s wave with a nice snap into a ridiculous air that less than 5 guys on tour even attempt in contests.

          • BD
            2 October, 2013 at 5:19 pm ·

            Ok just watched Buchan vs Medina. Agreed! Medina is doing some unreal stuff! Nothing average about Travis’s surfing, deserved his scores in the heat against Medina.

  8. leroy
    3 October, 2013 at 6:34 am · Reply

    I’m a huge fan of Parkos… but that was low low moment for professional surfing. Parko should throw his next heat if he want to keep his karma account balanced

  9. Tired of it all
    3 October, 2013 at 12:23 pm · Reply

    Yes, now they have stopped pushing Slater after 10 years it is a travesty!

  10. Jack
    4 October, 2013 at 6:36 am · Reply

    zigzag obviously doesn’t want to lose Billabroke as an advertiser…

  11. Sunova Surfboards Australasia
    4 October, 2013 at 8:50 am · Reply

    the scoring was shit all over..dodge city from heat 1

  12. Tony
    11 November, 2014 at 2:52 am · Reply

    Competitive surfing is RIGGED from top to bottom ! Ware I grew up in Florida
    it was always a Jewish guy who won , and when I looked into why , It was brought to my attention that all the judges were Jewish ! And then some one
    once again pointed out the fact that every team rider for our local surf shop
    wich was owned by jewish guy was also Jewish , every one of them .
    And I’m talking 8 to 10 guys !!!! Favoritism sucks in any form . And NO I’m not
    antisemite .

  13. Tony
    11 November, 2014 at 3:04 am · Reply

    Forgot to mention the fact that one of those team riders went on to become
    an ASP Judge ! I would really like to see the list of names of all the ASP Judges to see if the trend is the same . If it is , It’s all a sham .

  14. Guest
    11 April, 2015 at 3:38 am · Reply

    The judging on the World Surf League has always been a subjective joke. It’s no better than figure skating or boxing.

  15. Guest
    11 April, 2015 at 3:39 am · Reply

    The bias seems to be in favor of the Australians and American surfers.

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