Although it's nothing new, Carissa Moore has been making headlines lately. Literally. She's been making lots of them.
After becoming the youngest female surfer to land a SURFER Magazine cover and the latest in over a decade (since Lisa Andersen in 1996), the bright-eyed sixteen-year-old from Honolulu has caught even more attention than usual from the surf world – and even those on the outside as media outlets like the LA Times and ESPN have picked up on her feat.
Anxious to hear her reaction, we caught up with Moore to hear her thoughts.
So what was your initial reaction when you found out you landed the SURFER cover?
I was super surprised at first. It was a actually a big punk the way my dad ended up showing it to me. After surfing, my dad told me that he wanted to show me something on the computer, and he showed me this article on the surfermag.com and I saw the cover and I was like ,"This is not real…This is not real." He told me to call photographer Jason Kenworthy to thank him, and Jason was like, "Oh, no. You shouldn't have seen that. They were supposed to take it down, because a photo of Kelly from P-pass came in as the new cover shot and I wasn't supposed to see that cover. I literally started crying, but then they showed me the cameras they hid, and it was a full-on punk. I was so stoked it was the best day of my life!
With this cover it seems like comparisons between you and Lisa Andersen are inevitable.
I haven't heard too much comparing the two of us, but it's an honor to be compared to someone like Lisa. She's a wonderful person and that's really cool.
Have you heard much feedback from the cover?
I've heard good stuff so far, and I haven't heard any bad stuff, but I'm sure there will be different views on it, so oh well.
Apparently the LA Times and ESPN have picked up the story. Do you think this is a step in the right direction?
Really? Wow. It was kind of weird like it was in the paper here, and I wasn't sure it was going to be a big deal. It doesn't have to be, but I'm stoked if it will help girls surfing and if I can help in any way to promote women's surfing then that would be awesome
What do you have to say to backwards surfers who don't understand why women should be on the cover of surf magazines?
Well, first I want to thank SURFER for the opportunity to have this cover, you know? It would be cool to see more girls on the cover, and showing girls surfing going somewhere…Luckily I haven't had to deal with that attitude too much, but I have had to read a few negative things online and just kind of ignored it. You just have to believe in yourself. You're going to have people who like you and people who don't like you, but all you can do really is be confident in yourself.
Those are definitely some words to live by. Can you comment on the state of women's surfing today? It seems like the younger generation is out for blood.
There are a lot of girls out there like Coco and Alana and Malia and it's fun to watch what they're doing pushing surfing to the next level. So I'm really excited about that.
So when's your next cover coming?
Oh boy! It was seriously like a dream come true, and I didn't think it was going to happen. I was seriously talking to my dad saying It would be so cool to one day be on the cover, and I'm just so stoked right now. It'd be great if it could happen again in the future, but we'll see!