The Most Incredible Photos Of Surfing's Olympic Debut

Surfers from around the world appear to defy gravity and buoyancy to stun the judges on the waves.

For the first time in Olympic history, 40 surfers will compete for a spot on the winners’ podium.

Each surfer competes in a 30 minute heat, trying to catch as many waves as possible. Their top two scoring waves at Tsurigasaki beach are combined for their final total.

See the athleticism, grit and each drop of water in these amazing photos from the first two days of training and competition.

Japan's Mahina Maedagoes rides a wave during a free training session at the Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach, in Chiba, on July 24, 2021 during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Japan's Mahina Maedagoes rides a wave during a free training session at the Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach, in Chiba, on July 24, 2021 during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
OLIVIER MORIN via Getty Images

It has taken a century of advocacy to get surfing into the Olympics. Hawaiian surfer and Olympic swimmer Duke Kahanamoku started the push in 1912 when he first asked the International Olympic Committee to include the sport.

Japan's Kanoa Igarashi rides a wave during a free training session at the Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach.
Japan's Kanoa Igarashi rides a wave during a free training session at the Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach.
OLIVIER MORIN via Getty Images
Chile's Manuel Selman rides a wave during a free training session.
Chile's Manuel Selman rides a wave during a free training session.
OLIVIER MORIN via Getty Images
Silvana Lima of Team Brazil
Silvana Lima of Team Brazil
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Lucca Mesinas of Team Peru surfs during the Men's Round 1 heat on day two of on July 25, 2021 in Ichinomiya, Chiba, Japan.
Lucca Mesinas of Team Peru surfs during the Men's Round 1 heat on day two of on July 25, 2021 in Ichinomiya, Chiba, Japan.
Ryan Pierse via Getty Images
 Kanoa Igarashi of Team Japan warms up before competition on day two of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Kanoa Igarashi of Team Japan warms up before competition on day two of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Ryan Pierse via Getty Images
Carissa Moore of Team United States
Carissa Moore of Team United States
Pool via Getty Images