Pocket Sports: Surfing Review

As you step out of your car, the warmth of the morning sun kisses you. The short walk to the beach allows you to take in the waves, and what waves they are. Breaker from the left; 1-2 meters high, these medium sized waves are your bread and butter. No one knows this beach like you, you have been surfing Bells since you were a kid. Come this time next week you will hopefully be ringing the bell triumphantly in front of your home crowd. For now though you better stop getting ahead of yourself and get in some practice.

Pocket Sports Surfi­ng Tour is a fast dice rolling game that sees you compete as a professional surfer on a world tour across six locations, shredding big waves to be crowned Champion.

The objective is to score as many points possible on each wave you catch during a competition. At the end of the World Tour, the competitor with the most overall points will be the winner.

During each event you’ll have a choice of 5 waves. You may pass on a wave according to the size or your strategy in the game, but you must have 3 rides in each competition. There are six dice in the game:


Players will use the red die to determine who goes fi­rst by the highest roll 1 – 6. There can only be two surfers competing at one time. If you play 4 players, just have two heats.

The size of a wave determines what kind of manoeuvres your surfer can perform and which die you may roll. Smaller waves allow for more low scoring moves with less risk. Bigger waves allow for gnarly moves but may cause a WIPEOUT.

  • 1 = No Wave – nothing you can do but wait for the next set. Counted as a missed wave
  • 2 = Small wave – you can only roll the Low Risk die 8 times
  • 3 = Medium wave – you can roll a combination of the Low risk die 4 times & Med risk die 4 times
  • 4 = Good wave – you can only roll the Med risk die 6 times
  • 5 = Big wave – you can roll a combination of the Med risk die 3 times & High risk die 3 times
  • 6 = Monster wave – you can only roll the High risk die 4 times

On each Risk die are types of manoeuvres and how many points it will score with the judges. At the end of each scoring wave, tally and add to your running total. WIPEOUTs count as zero.

Every surfer wants to tame a Monster wave. There are some sick moves that can only be pulled on the big waves, but none better than catching a Barrel. Not only does it score well with the judges and fans, it allows you to get inside the tube!

Every surfer wants respect and getting a sponsor earns you cred! Only big rides can catch the eyes of scouts and their sponsors. Sponsors provide you with better equipment that allows you to survive some of the dangerous break. Each sponsor has 3 scouts and collecting all of a single sponsor unlocks the equipment/ability. If you roll SPONSOR while in the tube, use the blue die to see which sponsor you have picked up.

After you’ve ridden a couple of practice waves it’s time to join the Tour. Bells Beach will be the fi­rst event. Use the score sheet to score your rider’s waves and track sponsors and competition results. Remember – hang loose!

Pocket Sports: Surfing has been sitting in my review pile for about 6 or so weeks, and it has come to every games night I’ve had over that time frame, and I can’t fault this little game. Neither can anyone I’ve played it with. It is a simple dice roller but it has so much to it.

For anyone that has ever seen or been to a Surfing Tournament, you know that not every wave they choose is going to be perfect or that all the different moves can be done on all the different sized waves. The custom dice handle this so well, and it is such a simple idea that it just works so, so well. There are so many ways you could have tried to replicate wave choice and a simple chance roll of a dice just makes it feel right. As so many times while watching surfers being interviewed I hear them say, ‘I thought that first wave was a going to be great but it fell off which put me behind & I had to play catch up’; or ‘I got lucky with that last wave, it was perfect.’  Even though these guys are professionals, you can’t read nature. It has that level of chance and luck as well as skill, which has been perfectly emulated using the luck of the dice roll.

I must say, in six weeks I am a seven time world surfing champion, but have lost about another 20 or so. Yet that is the beauty of this game, it is super quick and can be played by everyone that can roll a dice and has a basic understanding of maths. Actually, if you have a child that is learning decimals this is the perfect game for them to play. I know I played it with an eight year old (sorry eight and a half if you ask her) and she didn’t have a problem with it and really enjoyed it.

I was generally extremely shocked when it arrived; a small bag of dice with a rules sheet and 4 cards (the custom sleeves were a great touch). I honestly thought there were components missing when it arrived, then after sitting down to play it, I couldn’t believe it. So I played it again and again. I actually played this game about 5 times more that I would a normal review game and every time was blown away by the beauty and intelligence of this game. Hamish has done an amazing job capturing the feel of surfing and surfing tournaments in 5 simple dice.

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I shouldn’t surprised how good these little pocket games are, Hamish has had heaps of practice making them. On the website I count 20 games that have come before this one. The range is actually quite extensive from Aussie Rules Footy to Gridiron and Rugby to F1. It is actually crazy the range they have and I am excited to order a few to see if they compare to Pocket Surfing. If they do I have 19 more games to buy.

If you want to check out the Pocket Sports Series, you can check out their website here. Though I haven’t played all of them, I have played the Surfing one and have loved it. Hopefully when I get a few more I can tell you how those are also. But I must say, for such a tiny game, it captures the feel of the sport so well.  If you have a favourite sport, I would go see if they have it. I think I know the next ones I want to get; the Gridiron, F1 and Golf to see how they stack up to Surfing.

Do yourself a favour and check out these simple, intelligent beautiful games!

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