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Focus

Nov 26, 2013

Carissa Moore Crowned ASP World Champion 2013 : An Exclusive Interview

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The Outdoor Journal

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For the two time 21-year-old Hawaiian champ – “there’s no better training for surfing than… surfing”! Our editorial director Gaël Couturier caught up with her a few weeks after her second title win in July

GC: I re-watched the video of your win in Portugal. Man, you seemed so happy to win that title again. Bringing it back to Hawaii must have been a blast right? 

CM: It was amazing to win the title again. I’ve always dreamt of winning a world title so, to have it happen twice is just incredible! It definitely feels good to represent Hawaii and bring it home.

GC: Tell us, how often do you train and how do you train? Who coaches you, what kind of workout do you do? What about mental training, what is your mantra?

CM: There is no better training for surfing than surfing. I surf almost every day, sometimes twice a day, with my dad and coach Chris Moore. I also cross train on land with my Lisa Stewart about three times a week for an hour/hour-and-a-half. On land, Lisa and I like to box, do different types of plyometrics, play with medicine balls and bands. She always keeps it fun and interesting. As for mental training, my dad and Lisa are constantly pushing my limits and encouraging me to visualize what I want to achieve. My mantra is that you can achieve anything you put your heart and mind to and to just believe.

GC: I’m amazed at how young you guys are. I remember the good old days when Lisa Andersen was the one leading the roost. Nowadays, it seems there are a lot more new kids on the block, I mean you’re very young and so are your opponents. How do you think the world of competitive surfing has evolved in the past 10-15 years? More money, a bigger industry, more media, more kids getting noticed and more kids influenced to become pro surfers?

CM: It’s such an exciting time to be apart of women’s surfing. Next year all the women on tour will be under the age of 25. How crazy is that? This generation is so young, driven and passionate about competing and performing at a higher level. It’s really inspiring to see the gap closing between men and women’s surfing. I am really looking forward to 2014. Better venues are being added to the tour which will allow the women to really showcase their talent and new media outlets will hopefully bring surfing to a broader audience.

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GC: I’d like our audience to know that The Outdoor Journal is not a surfing magazine. To us, Kelly Slater is the guy who changed surfing forever. In terms of commitment, radical maneuvers, personality…the guy has it all and he’s one in a million, for sure. He was also such a grommet when he started to be among the best of the best. I know he’s not from Hawaii but how has that guy influenced you? Do you sometimes dream about being the new Kelly Slater?

CM: I’ve looked up to Kelly Slater since the very beginning. I used to watch his Lower Trestles surfing segment in his movie “Black and White” before every trip to California to compete in the NSSA Nationals. I’m inspired by the way he is constantly pushing himself to new limits, innovating and creating. I am in awe at how he has stayed so driven competitively for so long. I love watching him surf because you never know what he is going to do next. His surfing is so fluid, powerful and flawless. I think it’s a very big dream to be the new Kelly Slater but I definitely strive to take what I can from him and be the best I can be.

GC: You are from Hawaii: the holy land of surfing and you’re very lucky. Who are the Hawaiian surfers that influenced you, any strong waterman you refer or listen to sometimes?

CM: I really look up to Andy Irons, Pancho Sullivan, Myles Padaca and John John Florence. They are incredible surfers but even better human beings. Each of these men have made an impact on my life, both in and out of the water. Andy Irons has always been an idol of mine. He took the time to say hello and make me feel special despite how busy or famous he was. Pancho and Myles helped coach me to my first WCT event win as a wildcard at Sunset Beach, Oahu. John John and I grew up surfing at contests together and I am a huge fan of his surfing. I am rooting for him to be the next world champ from Hawaii.

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GC: Back to the competition: what made you win over Tyler, what gave you the cutting edge?

CM: The World Title race was really close this year. It came down to the last day of the last event. There was definitely a lot of pressure the final day. Whoever advanced further would win the title. I think Tyler and I had similar approaches this year: just have fun, enjoy every moment and surf from our heart. I think we both did a good job of just doing our own thing and not letting distractions get in the way. I don’t really know what made the difference in the end. I know the final day I was just really excited for the opportunity to be one of two to win the title. I was confident that things would fall into place and I just believed that it was meant to happen for me.

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GC: Come 2014, how hard would it be to win a third title?

CM: Every year is going to be a challenge to win the world title. Every woman on the tour is fired up and wants to win, knows how to win, knows how to fight and surf a great heat. I know I will have to put in the hard work and dedication if I want it again.

GC: Have you ever surfed in Asia? What about India – Have anyone ever talked to you about waves in India?

CM: I have surfed in Japan once before. I think it was in Chiba and it was pretty small and stormy when I went. India? There are waves in India?

GC: How has life changed since becoming a Red Bull athlete? Have you been in their testing lab in Austria? Do you plan to go and have a huge party with Felix and all the other insane pro athletes of the planet?

CM: I signed with Red Bull when I was 16 and my journey with them since has been better than I could have ever imagined. They have always done everything possible to help me achieve my dreams and goals. There has never been any pressure by them, just unconditional support. Red Bull has given me unique opportunities to learn from Cirque performers in Vegas, work with amazing surf coaches and travel to top notch waves to train. I haven’t been to their testing lab in Austria but it would be really cool to make it there one day. Very cool to be apart of a brand that is just as excited as the athlete to innovate their sport and do things that have never been done before.

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GC: If you hadn’t been a pro surfer what would you have done with your life? What would you do when you retire?

CM: I think if I wasn’t a pro surfer I would probably be in school studying to become a teacher. I love kids and I have always wanted to make a difference even if it is in a small way. I think becoming a teacher is still the goal when I retire or possibly staying with my sport somehow and using that platform to inspire people. I would love to get more involved with philanthropic work and start my own organization to encourage girls’ confidence and living a healthy, active lifestyle.

Place: New Delhi, India


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