Qualification for surfing at the 2020 Summer Olympics will be based on the performances at two editions of the ISA World Surfing Games, the World Surf League Championship Tour, and the Pan American Games. Twenty athletes per gender must qualify for the Games, with only a maximum of two each per NOC. Host nation Japan has been entitled to use a single quota place each in both men's and women's shortboard. If Japan directly qualifies in any of the tournaments, the host country place(s) shall be reallocated to the next highest ranked eligible athlete at the 2020 World Surfing Games.
Quota places will be allocated to the athletes in the following events:
Host country: Japan is allocated 1 place in both men's and women's events. If at least one Japan has earned a qualification place through other events, the relevant host country place(s) shall be reallocated to the next highest ranked eligible athlete at the 2020 World Surfing Games.
2020 ISA World Surfing Games – the top 4 men and 6 women will be awarded quota places. If a NOC or National Olympic Committee qualifies more than the maximum number of athletes, the 2020 ISA World Surfing Games will prevail and any places earned from 2019 will be reawarded to the next highest finishing athlete(s). Each NOC is allowed to send a maximum of four athletes (two per gender) to the Olympic surfing competition.