Carissa Moore

Curl - - -

Carissa Moore ar­rived in Aus­tralia ear­lier this year to com­pete in the Aus­tralian Open of surf­ing. Hav­ing been crowned with her sec­ond World Ti­tle back in Oc­to­ber last year, she showed she has not lost any of her flair by tak­ing out the Aussie Open ti­tle with style. We caught up with Carissa for a quick chat be­fore she started her 2014 cam­paign…

Firstly wel­come to Aus­tralia Carissa and to the 2014 sea­son and con­grat­u­la­tions on your sec­ond World Ti­tle. It’s been a while since the last event, what have you been do­ing in your down time since then?

For the most part I’ve been at home soak­ing up time with my fam­ily. I did do a bit of trav­el­ing the past cou­ple of months and scored some fun waves in Phon­pei, Fiji and Mex­ico.

It was a closely fought bat­tle be­tween you and Tyler last year, com­ing down to the last event as a de­cider. What do you think gave you the edge? Last year was re­ally ex­cit­ing. It was great to be part of such a close bat­tle. It came down to the fi­nal day of the fi­nal event. I don't know if there was any­thing in par­tic­u­lar that gave me an edge I just woke up that morn­ing and re­ally be­lieved it was my day. I also be­lieved that if it was meant to be, it was meant to be. Think­ing like that re­ally took the pres­sure off and I went out and re­ally en­joyed my­self.

Be­ing in the pub­lic eye is a dou­ble edged sword. The more suc­cess­ful you are the hap­pier your spon­sors are but also the more the pub­lic wants of you. Tyler has been ex­cep­tion­ally brave re­cently, re­veal­ing how the be­ing a part of the surf in­dus­try had taken its toll on her. What do you think of how she was feel­ing and how do you cope with the de­mands of be­ing the World Cham­pion?

I know Tyler men­tioned that she may have strug­gled with things in the past but I thought she han­dled it re­ally well last year and looked like she was re­ally en­joy­ing her­self. She did a good job of block­ing it all out and just do­ing her own thing.

It's tough to not get caught up in what the pub­lic thinks of you. I think it's re­ally im­por­tant to find bal­ance, and to keep a tight group of fam­ily and friends around you to keep the neg­a­tives out. I'm lucky that I have a great sup­port team.

Com­ing from Hawaii, it’s the home of big waves but it’s also the home of the skimpy bikini. Un­for­tu­nately Alana gets more pub­lic­ity due to this than her ac­tual surf­ing yet she is one of the best seven­teen surfers in the world. What do you think of the pub­lic’s fas­ci­na­tion with im­age vs abil­ity?

I’ve got­ten a lot of ques­tions about this re­cently, and the sex­u­al­i­sa­tion of the sport. I be­lieve that Alana is awe­some, she’s gor­geous and beau­ti­ful and it brings at­ten­tion to the sport. I do want people to ap­pre­ci­ate her as an ath­lete too. I'm sure she puts in a lot of hours and hard work train­ing. She surfs well and de­serves to be on tour.

In her ca­reer Re­becah Woods was of­ten quite out­spo­ken about the surf­ing lo­ca­tions for the World Tour and how they had de­te­ri­o­rated. What are your thoughts on the lo­ca­tions and do they al­low you to re­ally show­case your tal­ents?

I am a big fan of Re­becah’s – she’s a sweet woman and I have a lot of re­spect for her for stand­ing up for bet­ter con­di­tions for the women's tour. I know it’s hard to stand up when people don’t re­ally lis­ten. The last few years the qual­ity in venues on our tour has sort of de­te­ri­o­rated. Last year at Bells we lucked out with re­ally good waves. All the girls per­formed beau­ti­fully and the re­ac­tion from the pub­lic was re­ally ex­cit­ing. If we were given bet­ter waves we

would be able to per­form like that more of­ten. This year, three world class waves have been added to our tour in Fiji, Tres­tles and Maui. This is a re­ally big year for us and I can't wait to see what the girls will bring to the ta­ble.

Your dad has played a sig­nif­i­cant role in your ca­reer thus far and many of the girls these days travel with a mem­ber of their fam­i­lies. This is very dif­fer­ent from how it was three or four years ago when your fel­low Hawai­ians, Me­lanie Bartells, Me­gan Abubo, Rochelle Bal­lard and Keala Ken­nely were still on tour. Is this be­cause the tour has got so young or a sign of how ac­cept­able surf­ing as a ca­reers has be­come?

What are your thoughts on this? I think it’s a com­bi­na­tion of the two. We are all re­ally young so it is nice to have some­one look­ing af­ter us and in our cor­ner. I also think all of the girls like hav­ing their own team with them that has their best in­ter­est in mind.

So­cial me­dia plays a huge role in many of the people in the pub­lic eye. Do you find it frus­trat­ing that spon­sors and the ASP re­quire you to have a so­cial me­dia pres­ence when re­ally your surf­ing should just do the talk­ing?

I didn’t know it was re­quired, I think ev­ery­one has a choice to do it or not. To be hon­est if I had to give it up I wouldn’t mind but I do en­joy it. You can in­spire people and have fun through so­cial me­dia – there’s a lot of good things about it. I like that it’s a good way to not just pro­mote yourself but to voice what you stand for. I guess it’s about find­ing bal­ance, but I def­i­nitely think it’s a great tool to reach more people.

You have main­tained great spon­sors in a strug­gling in­dus­try and you have done this with­out wear­ing re­veal­ing biki­nis or provoca­tive video clips. Do you think there is hope that spon­sors will start to back surf­ing abil­ity over sex­ual ex­ploita­tion?

To be hon­est I think this ques­tion has been a lit­tle over­done. I think there are a lot of girls on tour who don't wear tiny biki­nis. Ev­ery girl has a dif­fer­ent pref­er­ence for what they feel most com­fort­able per­form­ing in. A lot of girls pre­fer wear­ing wet­suits or board shorts when com­pet­ing. I think there are dif­fer­ent ways to mar­ket women and there are spon­sors that will want to sup­port the hard­core ath­lete.

This year the NZ leg of the tour is only a Star event rather than a CT event. Are we likely to see you in Taranaki again this year?

I know you have a very close group of friends and sup­port­ers here who would love to see you... It breaks my heart be­cause I don't think I will be able to make it to New Zealand this year. It is such a bum­mer be­cause I ab­so­lutely love NZ and my fam­ily there. I hope I can send some of my love through this ar­ti­cle.

LEFT: Carissa tak­ing out the 2014 Aussie Open, Im­age com­pli­ments of OwenPhoto, Hur­ley

Carissa in Bali, 2013: Im­age com­pli­ments of Miller/Red Bull

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