Bede Durbidge: the speed surfer

GPS technology is about to enter professional surfing competitions. For the first time in the history of official surfing contests, surfers will have the choice to embed a GPS device powered by ‘VX Sports’, in their jerseys and record their speed on each wave.


The Quiksilver Pro and Roxy Pro Gold Coast will test surfers' speed levels, in Snapper Rocks, Australia, from February 26th to March 9th. The ASP World Tour will determine the fastest competitor on the planet in 2011.

The innovative GPS device will bring new excitement levels and be beneficial to training as well. Pro surfer Bede Durbidge has already experienced this thrilling technology. He was clocked at 29.2 kph [18 mph] while doing a massive front side air. "I got to test drive the GPS unit and it was unreal," said Durbidge. "I was so surprised; I couldn’t even feel it in my rashie. It’s going to be exciting to see who the fastest surfer on tour is."

"I was so surprised; I couldn’t even feel it in my rashie. It’s going to be exciting to see who the fastest surfer on tour is." The GPS device weighs less than 3 ounces and will be placed between the shoulder blades. The data from this device is relayed back to a computer that displays the speed in real time.

"It’s going to be great for the spectators to add that excitement factor. It’ll blow people out how much work surfer’s are doing in their heat and how fast their going through their bottom and top turns and in the air. It’s going to be great for surfing.", says Durbidge.

The speeds at Snapper or Kirra should well exceed 35 kph [21.7 mph]. The new technology data will be relayed live into the broadcast commentary team for analysis, during each event.