IBA judge tower: watch the rain over the computer

Simon Thornton, Dudu Pedra, Pat Caldwell and Ben Seversen are new faces of the 2012 IBA World Tour judging team. The former professional bodyboarders will be scoring the best waves on the planet, starting at the IBA Pipe Challenge, in Hawaii.


Judging offers riders who have finished their competitive careers an opportunity to continue their association with the sport. It also puts the IBA in line with other professional sports that offer their athletes career pathways when their competitive careers are finished.

Simon Thornton, from Tahiti, had a strong presence on the Australian Pro Tour prior to relocating to his country, in search of big perfect barrels. "It can be hard judging all day when the waves are good but I’m looking forward to being apart of the judging team and working under both Chico and Craig", Thornton said.

Dudu Pedra, a renowned big wave charger from Brazil, has judged many IBA events, including last year's Arica event and his intimate knowledge of riding waves of consequence will be a great asset to IBA.

Ideally judges are required by the IBA to sit out of GSS events for a year, before being allowed to judge at the highest level to create a distance between the judge and the athletes. Another criteria that IBA look for in a new judges is no brand association with industry labels to minimize any perceived bias.

"The hardest thing for any bodyboarder coming into judging is they don’t know how hard it is to judge professionally. Riders that want to move into judging must have some specific qualities: total concentration for up to 12 hours a day. Massive recall abilities as judges must be able to recall previous rides throughout the day", explains Chico Garittano, IBA International Head Judge.

"They must be able to keep concentrated while everything happens around them, some events like the The Box (where the panel was positioned in a boat) can be very challenging and distracting. Have the ability to keep a cool level head when under acute pressure, at times heats get very stressful. They also must be able to operate as part of a team, we all work, travel and stay in the same places", he adds.

Craig Hadden will be focusing on managing the ratings and memberships whilst developing judging manuals and courses in 2012. He also selects the panels because he has long been regarded as the best bodyboarding judge in the world and will come to selected events this year as one of the 4 traveling International judges on GSS panels.

"I will focus mainly on the events where there are waves of significance. Events like Pipe, Box, Chile & Mexico and so on where my years of experience can make a difference", tells Craig Hadden.