Small waves could be a big problem for surfers at Tokyo Olympics

Surfing is making its Olympic debut at the Tokyo games, but the size and quality of the surf have raised concerns. — Surfing is making its Olympic debut at the Tokyo games, but the size and quality of the surf have raised concerns.

The Olympics in Japan will showcase surfing’s talented athletes to an audience of millions, but typical summer waves at the venue are small and lacking in power. That has some competitors and fans wondering whether using artificial wave pool technology might have been a better bet for the Tokyo games.

The president of the sport’s governing body, the International Surfing Association, said it was told by organizers the competition must be held in the ocean. That was part of the criteria for having the event when surfing was invited to apply for the Olympics in 2015.

Surfers competing at the games say they are used to dealing with a wide range of conditions, and are polishing their small wave skills.

The surfing competition for the 2024 Paris games will be held on the French island of Tahiti, which has hosted some of the most spectacular surf competitions of all time.