The International Federation considered and rejected the eligibility of two accessories - the leg rope (attached between the ankle and the fin) and "claws", a type of boot with velcro soles (and, presumably, a companion velcro pad on the board).
At this point it
appears that only U.S. mainland surfers were familiar with the leg rope-
in particular it would be interesting to know the attitude of the Hawaiian
It is possible that this exposure to the leg rope's potential advantages initiated its spread by members of the visiting teams, such as Australia and South Africa.
In early 1973, Rick Neilson (brother of Paul, a probable Australian team member at 1972 World Contest after placing 4th at the national championships earlier in the year) was photographed using a legrope, most likely at Burleigh Heads.
- Tracks, March 1973, page 5.
The West Coast U.S.
team also proposed a "man-to-man" format, which was similarly rejected.
It is unknown if the West Coast Association had previously used such a format in any of its regional contests.
Five years later,
the "man-on-man" format became a standard feature of the professional
contest circuit following its introduction by Peter Drouyn at the 1977
Stubbies Contest at Burleigh Heads.
U.S. Team Loses In Bid For Surfing Rule Changes
The United States surfing team, opposed by a majority of teams from other countries, has lost out in its bid to use special equipment and modify the judging of the World Surfing Contest, which starts today.
The Americans wanted to use ankle straps to keep surfboards from drifting away from competitors and have the athletes compete on a man-to-man basis, said chief judge Dr. Robert Scott.
Mike Purpus, of Hermosa Beach and on the U.S. team, also wanted to use "surfing claws" to give him added traction on the board.
Two titles, the
world'st male and female surfer, ultimately are at stake.
The contest was scheduled to start Saturday off local beaches but was postponed two days because of sloppy surf.
a surfer could ride his board upside-down with the claws, canvas foot pieces
with velcrow (sic) serving as an advantage on the soles," Scott
"He could perform radical maneuvers without losing his board.
But the claws were outlawed so I guess we will end up continuing to use wax."
Scott, continental U.S. representative to the International Surfing Federation, said any physical attachment of the surfer to his board was also outlawed.
"There is a good
reason for using a strap," he said.
"It permits a surfer to demonstrate his skill without spending valuable heat time swimming after his board.
A surfer who loses his board because of an object such as kelp in the water or because he is fouled by a competitor also would not be penalized in time."
However, Stan Couper, an official with the Australian team, said a majority of the countries felt if a surfer at world level competition loses his board through an attempted maneurve he should lose time.
Scott said West
Coast U.S. team members had lobbied for a man-to-man surf-off "but it was
rejected by the federation because most countries haven't had a chance
to experience this type of competition.
We hope in the ensuing two years all countries will have a chance to be come acquainted with the man-to-man surfing and it will be incorporated into this event.
Under the system, a judge can concentrate on two competitors instead of five and pick a winner."
The other countries acknowledged the advantages of man-to-man but decided against it for two major reasons, Couper said.
"It would take twice as long to run the contest using that system, and the success of the event would depend on a pretty accurate matching of competitors.
"It is easier
for an individual country to match its team members than for the federation
to know how a person from Peru relates to a person from South Africa,"
"It could be unfair."
As the contest
is preasently structured, surfers will compete with no more than five in
the heats of 15-to-30-minute duration.
They will be given zero-to-20 points a ride and their score will be computed on the basis of their best three waves.
surfer closest to the curl of the wave has the right-of-way," Scott said.
- Surfer: Contest
Volume Number page ? 1971?
The article included
a black and white photograph with the mis-titled caption:
Rodger Adams and shot-cord, second at Santa Cruz. Photo: Kampion.
The surfer, with a wrist attachment, is Pat O'Neill; Adams connected the rope from his ankle to the fin.
A copy of this article was included in a circulated draft paper on the history of the leg rope by Ben Marcus in January 2011.
World Contest Surfing Rule Changes.
San Diego Union
Monday October 2 1972, page ?