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Frequently Asked Questions


The Digital Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is a video submission competition. It requires that you surf at the traditional Vans Triple Crown locations of Haleiwa, Sunset Beach and Pipeline/Backdoor Pipe, between December 21, 2020 and January 15, 2021, and comply with submission guidelines to be eligible for monetary prizes.

This competition is recommended for highly experienced surfers only as it will be held at a time when waves on Oahu’s North Shore are typically big and challenging. You should be capable of surfing at the highest level at all three of these esteemed locations, on the biggest and best days of surf.

This competition is sanctioned by the WSL and, therefore, is open to WSL surfers from all Tours. The competition is also open to non-members of the WSL.


  • The official event period is December 21, 2020 through January 15, 2021.
  • All waves must be ridden and clips submitted during this time period of December 21, 2020 – January 15, 2021 (submissions close 11:59pm Hawaii time January 15, 2021).
  • Winners will be announced at time of Awards Ceremony that will take place on January 19, 2021


All clips submitted for entry must be from the breaks outlined below:

  • Haleiwa Ali’i Beach Park
  • Sunset Beach
  • Pipeline / Backdoor


  • Total # of Competitors: 125 entries open equally between men and women for the overall Vans Triple Crown Event. (See complete rules for more information.)
  • Only surfers who are able to be physically on the North Shore and surfing during the Event Period should enter.
  • Once all 125 spots are filled, subsequent entrants who enter prior to the Entry Deadline will be placed on an alternates list. Should a spot open up, alternates will be notified no later than December 20, 2020.


  • All prospective competitors must sign up between 9:01am Hawaii time on December 10, 2020 and the Registration Deadline of 11:59pm Hawaii time on December 18, 2020.
  • Prospective competitors can enter here: where a complete outline of the Rules can be found.
  • Successful entrants will be asked to create a User Profile which becomes the competitor’s submission hub.
  • Successful entrants will need to pay an Entry Fee of US$125. If the entry fee is not successfully paid prior to the December 20, 2020 deadline, the competitor will be replaced by an Alternate.
  • All entrants must agree to the OFFICIAL RULES, Vans’ privacy statement and the Assumption of Risk, Media Waiver and COVID-19 release when registering.


All Entry Fee proceeds will be donated to local non-profit organizations on Oahu and Vans will match the proceeds.


Participants will be awarded as outlined below:

1st – 5th Place awarded for both men and women from each location = $30,000 (USD) Total Per location

  • 1st - $5,000
  • 2nd - $4,000
  • 3rd - $3,000
  • 4th - $2,000
  • 5th - $1,000

Vans Triple Crown Prize purse of $100,000 (USD) split evenly for overall VTCS Champions

  • $50,000 for men’s champion
  • $50,000 for women’s champion

Prize Purse will be distributed following the Award Ceremony.


  • The competition will be based on each competitor’s video submissions: two (2) best waves per Location. A total of six (6) waves across the total three (3) locations of Haleiwa, Sunset, Pipeline/Backdoor.
  • The waves that competitors wish to be judged by should be their best waves ridden during the Event Period.
  • Waves can be submitted by the competitor at any time during the Event Period.
  • Competitors may trade out their two (2) best waves at each location during the Event Period with subsequently better rides caught throughout the Event Period, however, once submitted, waves can only be traded out/replaced a maximum of four (4) times per location during the entire Event Period.
  • Competitors are not required to trade out waves, but must submit two (2) waves per location to be eligible for a win for each individual location and for the overall Triple Crown.
  • There will be two scoring dates during the competition, at which time WSL judges will be providing scores (see “Judging Criteria”):
    • First Scoring Date January 4, 2021
    • Final Scoring Date January 16, 2021
  • Competitors must submit their final selections (2 waves per each of the three locations; ie. total of 6 waves) on or by 11:59pm Hawaii time on January 15, 2021.


  • All submissions must be made by the competitor only via the competitor’s User Profile on
  • Only clips submitted directly by the competitor to their User Profile will be entered into the event and judged.
  • ALL submissions must be date and time stamped, and the first two waves for each of the three locations must be officially submitted no later that 8pm Hawaii time the day after the wave was ridden, no exceptions. Any fraudulent activity or lack of timestamp is automatic grounds for disqualification.
  • All submissions must be raw clips.
  • Once raw clips have been submitted, Vans will return to the competitor with an edited clip that they are permitted to post on their personal social media / website. Participants must tag personal posts with @vanstriplecrownsurf.
  • Any clip posted to a personal social media / website prior to VTCS submission will be considered ineligible for entry.
  • Competitor submissions will be granting publicity rights to Vans, WSL and VTCS media partners in perpetuity.

FOR YOUR FILMER - Technical Specifications

  • The best video format is MP4 with H.264 video codec and AAC audio codec. You get a high-quality video and a small file size. However, we will also support the following formats: MOV, MPEG4, AVI and WebM.
  • Quality should aim for 1080p or 1440p
  • Ideally the size ratio will be 16:9
  • An unedited (raw) version of each clip must be submitted including all available frames of the start and end of the ride and without any embedded bugs or watermarks.
  • All clips must be time and date stamped for eligibility.


  • All submitted rides will be judged by a panel of 3 WSL Internationally accredited judges who will be guided by the below WSL Judging Criteria and Vans Special Criteria.
  • Each individual judge will assign a total score per ride based on a maximum award of 10 points (see Judging Scale).
  • Each of the three judges’ scores will then be added together to give a final ride score out of 30 points.
Individual Location Awards:
  • Individual Location Awards will be awarded to the top 5 scoring competitors - both male and female - based on their combined 2-ride total for that Location, which will be out of a maximum 60 points. Highest points total wins.

Overall Vans Triple Crown Champion Awards:

The Overall Vans Triple Crown Champion Awards will go to the single highest scoring male, and single highest scoring female, based on their combined 6-ride total from all three locations. This score will be out of a maximum 180 points. Highest points total overall male, and highest points total overall female, each win $50,000.

WSL Judging Criteria:

  • Commitment and degree of difficulty
  • Innovative and progressive maneuvers
  • Combination of major maneuvers
  • Variety of maneuvers
  • Speed, power and flow

Vans Special Criteria:

The WSL Criteria will be in play, however with special emphasis on:

  • Self-expression: Unique angles, creative lines and approaches -
  • Innovation and progressive surfing
  • Location appropriate surfing.

It is important to note that the emphasis of certain elements is contingent upon the location.

Judging Scale:

The following scale may be used to describe a Ride that is scored:

  • 0 – 1.9 = Poor.
  • 2.0 – 4.9 = Fair.
  • 5.0 – 6.4 = Good.
  • 6.5 – 7.9 = Very Good.
  • 8.0 – 10.0 = Excellent


In the event of a tie between two surfers at any single location, the top single ride of each surfer at that location will be counted and the surfer with the highest scoring wave will be granted the split decision. In the event of a tie between two surfers after all 6 waves across all 3 locations have been scored, the top single ride at each location, for each surfer, will be counted and the surfer with the higher points total will be granted the split decision. In the event there is still a tie at this point, the judges will decide the tie breaker based on the following criteria for each of the scored rides: self-expression, including unique angles, creative lines and approaches; innovation and progressive surfing; and location-appropriate surfing.


  • Paddle surfing only – no PWC or tow-ins / No Foil boards / No Stand up paddle
  • No Vans / VF Corp Employees or immediate family members (parents, children, siblings, spouse) or members of the same household.
  • No WSL Employees or contractors or immediate family members (parents, children, siblings, spouse) or members of the same household.
  • Age Restriction: Surfer must be at least 16 or older at the time of registration to enter contest.
  • Surfers are open to ride their board of choice - no foil-boards / SUP’s
  • All waves will be scored based on the judging criteria, not equipment choice.