Surf Riders features two modes including the Free Play and World Challenge Cup. In the Free Play mode, you can practice skills without a time limit; this will give novice players ample time to learn control layouts and combinations. The World Challenge Cup mode is for all the marbles -- the championship. A round in this mode consists of three heats: the qualifying, semifinal and final. Each heat has four computer-controlled competitors. You must place either first or second in order to advance to the next heat.
In addition to supporting the Dual Shock Analog Controller for analog controls and vibration, Surf Riders uses a memory card to save game progress. Additionally, it features a soundtrack composed of surf-rock bands including Los Straitjackets, The Aquamen and Pollo Del Mar.