Carissa Moore knows that to be a world champ you need to bury rail and throw spray - job done. Pic: ASP/Robertson
Hawaiian Carissa Moore steam rolled all opposition to win the 2011 ASP World title in stunning fashion. The first female Hawaiian to hold the crown since the legendary Margo Oberg clinched it in 1981, did it by winning an astonishing three out of the first five events (she finished second in the other two). At just 18 she became the youngest ever ASP champion (men or women). Not bad for a surfer in only her second year on tour. After an uncharacteristic fifth place finish in the Roxy Pro at Snapper Rocks recently [her worst result in 2011 was third] the bubbly natural-footer arrived at Newcastle for the Hunter Ports Womens Classic in style by notching up two excellent scoring rides in her round of 48 heat win. It’s early days in this event but Tracks caught up with the champ to see how she was dealing with the pressure, training and the current state of women’s surfing.
First time in the Newcastle, Carissa?
It is my first time to Newcastle and I really like it – it’s been beautiful since I’ve been here. First day I got here it was pouring with rain, but so fun and really cool people.
The Hunter Ports Women’s Classic, it’s a six star W.Q.S event, nice to a big event between the Roxy and Rip Curl Pro?
Totally! It’s nice to have an event were you can build confidence, put a jersey on and practice dealing with the pressure of surfing a heat.
And in your first heat your power surfing was rewarded handsomely, despite most of your waves petering out?
The waves are kinda weak, but I have some really good boards right now. Matt Biolos has been shaping some sick boards for me that are a bit wider and lighter than my normal boards. Happy I was able get through.
Unlike some events where you may only have a moments notice to get ready, the girls were told last night they would be surfing today – is that a nice change?
Yeah, it’s kinda nice to know, I’ll surf a heat today, or I’ll surf a heat tomorrow, and then have the rest of the day to cruise and do whatever I like. So, yeah, it’s definitely nice to have a bit of headway… but it’s also good when you’re trying to work for the best conditions through a week – that’s good too.
As long as the best conditions don’t always go to the men?
I know! That’d be kinda nice. I guess that’s what’s good about a set schedule.
You finished fifth in the Roxy Pro, it was a tough heat against Tyler Wright, who was on fire. As the world champ are you disappointed you finished in the quarters there?
Eyes on the prize, Carissa lines up her next hit at Merewether today. Pic: ASP/Robertson
Definitely disappointed to start off my year with a fifth. It’s not horrible – but it’s not amazing. Hopefully it’s a good starting point and I can just build from here.
More girls seem to have taught themselves how to draw out turns in 2012, jam deeper into the pocket etc… Basically we’re seeing a lot more tail?
I definitely agree. I think a lot of the girls are stepping it up. It’s really fun to watch what they’re doing – putting a lot more power in their tail and putting it on rail. It’s exciting.
One of the girls in your heat had either their mother or a coach signaling from the beach, does Carissa Moore have some one like that or is all the training down prior?
For me, I’m actually here working with Adam Robertson, he’s a great guy. And I think I’m going to head down to Bells to continue working with him…
Good man to work with, especially at for Bells?
Really great, but I like to keep things simple (in answer to your original question) kinda like having a game plan before I paddle out. Then whatever happens happens out there.
You don’t want t be looking in at the beach stressing out trying to find someone on land?
No. Keeping it simple is the best thing.
Your off to the Rip Curl Pro at Bells after Newcastle, it’s a wave that I can see suiting your surfing, when it’s on there’s some good opportunities for big turns?
I think Bells is actually a really tricky wave, a lot of different faces to that wave – I’m lucky I have a good guy in Adam in my corner.
Thanks Carissa and good luck here at Newcastle.