An expression session is a non-official show format that does not count towards the world ranking. During the expression session, the athletes compete in a special format that is chosen depending on the conditions to provide a spectacular show (for example Best Trick, Best Wave, Highest Jump, Team contest, etc.)
For the Surf-Freestyle category: Judges are looking for speed, power and flow when surfing waves/swells as well as technical tricks and risk factor when riding the wave. For the air tricks, judges are looking for amplitude, technical difficulty, clean landings and innovation.
When surfing, wave selection will help the rider score higher because bigger and longer waves offer higher scoring potential. Riding critical parts of the wave and performing tricks while riding will increase the rider’s score as well.
For Air Tricks, it will help a rider’s score if they get a lot of height. Also landing clean tricks that are technical and showcase new and unique skills will prompt a higher score from the judges. We want to see the sport progressing.
In the Surf-Freestyle discipline, the riders compete in a dingle elimination, which means that they are riding in heats of three athletes in the first round. The first placed rider of round one advances straight to round 3 and the second and third will go to round 2. From round 2 on, there are only heats of 2 riders with the first place rider advancing until we have a winner.
In the Race discipline, multiple riders (with a maximum of 10) compete against each other in a heat. The five top-placed riders from each heat advance to the next round until the final. There can be multiple eliminations run like this within an event.