All photos - Jason Kenworthy
Carissa Moore really needs no introduction. She's a 2x World Champion, she's known across the globe for her killer surfing and super sweet disposition. On top of all that she is a positive role model & inspiration to girls everywhere.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Carissa a few weeks prior to the US Open - we met with her at Lower Trestles right before she hit the water to do a photo shoot with legendary surf photographer Jason Kenworthy. We stayed and watched as Carissa paddled out into the line up. Her bright orange and black Hurley spring suit was easy to spot as she caught wave after wave, inspiring guys and girls up and down the beach. Just like she does every day.
Who's Rad? Carissa Moore
How old are you? 21
How long have you been surfing?
I started when I was about 4 or 5 years old. My dad pushed me into my first wave and we still surf together all the time.
And you just got hooked?
Yeah, I mean I think it definitely developed over time – I wasn’t super into it in the beginning but I loved spending time with my dad in the water, and it eventually became something I really loved.
What about skateboarding - we heard you were skating with the Pink Helmet Posse crew last night?
I actually don’t skate at all – I’m horrified of skating, I cruised a long time ago just for fun, but it wasn’t something I did on a regular basis. Going and watching the kids last night I was like “I can not do this" - maybe I’m scared of getting hurt, but it's cool to watch and see what they do.
|Carissa at the bowl the night before this interview with the rad Pink Helmet Posse family|
Where is home for you ? Honolulu, Hawaii
Who are your sponsors? Redbull, Nike, Hurley, Target
What is a day like for you when you are not on tour competing?
I surf twice a day, I really like to train or do something active like go t a yoga class, a hike, or swim. I rest a lot to balance everything out. When I’m at home I like to spend time with my family, my boyfriend, & my friends. I’m actually really into redecorating furniture, I’ve been doing paper mache on a bureau set at home. I ordered some knobs to put on it, and I like to scrapbook and things like that – just simple stuff.
When you are on tour – what things do you like to do?
I rest a lot – it's key. But we also take some time to see some sights when were in places. I think for me, trying to keep it simple during competitions is the best thing.
Training out of the water – what types of things do you do?
I like to stay active and in Hawaii its really easy to get outside and do stuff. I swim, hike, & take yoga classes. I went to a dance class when I was home for fun, but I do have a trainer that I work with 3-4 times per week.
Food – what fuels you?
I eat like any normal person would. I definitely just try to eat in moderation, I don’t like to deprive myself of sweets or breads and stuff. I think that everything in moderation is a good way to go for me.
You have spoken out about things going on in the surfing world like the fact that the girls were not getting good heat times for the waves and things like that. Are you still feeling that way, and are you still speaking out to make a change in women's surfing?
Definitely - I think its been a really positive change this year the ASP has really stepped up, and when we are in contests with the men we are now not getting the short end of the stick. Most of the time they are making an effort to give us an equal chance at the good waves to preform on, so that’s really cool. They made an effort to get us better venues – so we just finished an event in Fiji and we have an event here at Lowers in September and we have an event in Maui at end of year which is huge! Our prize money is almost what the men’s is - so its almost tripled! So right now is a really exciting time for women’s surfing .
So maybe your speaking out was a really GOOD thing - even though I know it's hard to do that…
Yes, I just think you need to speak out in a respectful way. I think people are less likely to hear you out if you come across super strong in your opinion - less people will listen to you. You have to be willing to listen to the other side, and I think change takes a little bit of time. But it is good to make that effort and speak out.
You have created change with your approach and that has to feel good.
Thank you! Yes, it definitely feels good, I think that sometimes change its hard to accept and there are of course the people who are not that stoked on you for saying something. But sometimes you need to step out of your comfort zone and be a little different to create change.
You also speak out about the fact that everyone’s different and there is room for everyone, but your choice is to be more of an athlete who is portrayed as an athlete rather than a girl who is portrayed in a small bikini. I know you did a shoot that was on the skimpier side and you saw the photos you decided to pull the plug and not have them run - was that a hard thing to do?
I think at that time maybe I felt a little insecure and I had just won a world title - maybe I wanted people to see “hey, I can be sexier too”. It might have been some insecurity that took me into that photo shoot, they were some of the most beautiful pictures I have ever taken, but they were a little bit more sexy and ultimately not what I want to represent. I want to represent a strong woman and you don’t have to take of your clothes for that, so I think at the end I am happy with my decision and I think girls look up to me in that way. Other girls can do it and that’s cool – its just not for me.
|Young rippers Brianna Winter, Bella Kenworthy, & Jordyn Barratt with Carissa at Lowers|
I know you love to write and you are really good at it. (Carissa has a blog you can read HERE - it's really insightful, funny and interesting!)
I’m not that great at writing but I do enjoy making a quick blog post once in awhile!
I love that your style of writing is very personal - it really brings an outside person into what you have experienced on tour, or wherever else you are. I think a column in a surfing publication might be a good thing!
Who knows, it might end up being something fun one day –we’ll see. Thank you!
Going into next season do you feel like you have added pressure on you being the current World Champion?
No, not at all - I think this year I am trying to not even think that I have a World title – it’s like a clean slate every year and if there is any pressure I have, it comes from myself. I don’t read stuff online anymore – I think that kind of stuff just adds distractions and pressure, because everyone is going to want something from you or thinking you should be doing stuff a certain way. Ultimately that’s just going to burn you out. I just try to focus on my own path. I just like surfing and that’s what I try to focus on.
Do you have any advice for young girls who may want to follow in your footsteps – like the Bella’s in the world? (6 yr old Bella skates for The Pink Helmet Posse and is surf photographer Jason Kenworthy's daughter and was sitting on the beach waiting to surf with Carissa)
Especially for girls - don’t be afraid to get out there. Some girls I have met are kind scared to take a tumble, or get their hair wet. It's just about getting out there and embracing the whole process – you are going to fail and wipe out, but eventually when you land that maneuver, or ride that wave all that way to the beach, it's going to feel amazing.
|Carissa giving 6 yr old Bella some encouragement|
Any girls in action sports that inspired you at a young age?
It's really interesting because I was never a sports fanatic growing up, I was just a kid who liked surfing with her dad. It's funny because I was different than most little boys or girls. I don’t watch that many surf films or study it that much – I’m probably at that point I should do more of that but growing up I loved watched Andy Irons and Kelly Slater. There were definitely a couple girl surfers I looked up to growing up.
Sometimes you just know what you want to do and you don’t need female role models to do it , but some girls do. For instance, Bella really looks up to you. But you might just be that girl who knew what you wanted to do after awhile and just did it. I don’t think you have to watch surf movies or change what you are doing – obviously what you are doing is working quite well for you.
3 things you don’t know about me...
1. I like to sing but I’m horrified of singing in front of people
2. I like syrup on my bacon & eggs
3. I don’t like when someone is cocky – that’s one of my pet peeves
I’m excited to go home and see my family and hang out. Then Molokai to do a surf clinic there, after that is the US Open and I’m actually really excited to visit my boyfriend’s grandparents in San Francisco after the US Open.
Just be YOU – there is no one else that does you better. And have fun with whatever you choose to do.
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