Most people who have just turned 21 are focused on being allowed to finally buy beer, or preparing for their next midterm. Carissa Moore just hit that landmark age, but her goals lie elsewhere: She just became the best female surfer in the world… again!
She is the youngest world champion surfer in history, and has racked up more titles than anyone else at her age. We talked to the inspiring gal right after her win at the Rip Curl Pro in Portugal, and her sunny spirit was infectious.
OK!: How did you get your start in surfing as a little kid?
Carissa Moore: Most of the credit goes to my dad. He pushed me in my first wave when I was about four or five years old at Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii. He has traveled with me all over the world, and it has been a great journey together.
OK!: When did you start competing with boys, officially and unofficially?
CM: I surfed in my first contest when I was about seven years old, and we have contests in Hawaii called ‘menehune’ contests, and menehune stands for “little people” in Hawaiian. Back then the divisions were boys and girls all grouped together, so I just kind of did it with everyone back then. As I grew up I still stayed in the division with the boys. My dad thought it was a really good challenge for me because it was a great way for me to push myself.
OK!: Did you ever get a hard time from boys when you were competing against them?
CM: I have to say, for the most part all the guys have been so supportive. I’ve made friends with the guys and I feel like they really respect me.
OK!: I feel like in the movie version of your life story the boys would be much meaner to you! How do you prepare for competitions? How do you get in the zone?
CM: The day of a contest I usually wake up around 5:30 or 6 and I’ll stretch and listen to some music. This past week it was Katy Perry, “Roar” which is really good. Then I was also listening to “Lose Yourself” by Eminem, [and] if you know Tegan and Sara, the song “I Was A Fool.” Then I’ll probably go down to beach at first light, catch a couple waves and just get warmed up. A half hour before I’ll get suited up, listen to some more music, do a couple stretches, and then right before I paddle out, get a good luck kiss from my boyfriend. That is my routine.
OK!: How does it feel to be named world champion again?
CM: Oh my gosh, it is so funny. I’m still buzzing. I really haven’t had a good sleep in the past few nights just because I’m so excited. I’ll wake up in the middle of the night just like thinking about everything that happened and how excited I am for next year. I think the second one is maybe more meaningful to me just because I proved to myself that the first one didn’t happen out of luck. I worked really hard, and it just feels good to have it pay off.
OK!: What comes next? Where do you go when you are already the best at 21?
CM: My biggest goal in life is just as a platform to inspire other women, just inspire people to chase their dreams. I know it sounds silly and cheesy but I just want to be a good role model and be there for people, so that they can relate to me. I think a lot of my social outreach with my website and my instagram is just like, ‘Hey I’m like you, I’m like everybody else.’ In January, I might go to Mexico and work on a Hurley H20 project and help give clean water. I would love to do that.
OK!: Tell me more about this boyfriend! I was reading about him on your blog.
CM: I know I talk about him so much. Right now, the two things I’m most in love with are surfing and my boyfriend. When I’m not surfing, it’s silly, but I just clean my house. I clean my house, I train with my trainer, I hang out with my boyfriend. My life is really simple, but I love it!
How lovely is Carissa? What were you doing when you were 21? Have you ever tried surfing? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @OKMagazine.