Molly Picklum secures her spot in the WSL Finals after a second place finish at Corona Open J-Bay

LEMOORE, CALIFORNIA - MAY 27: Molly Picklum of Australia competes during the World Surf League Surf Ranch Pro qualifying round on May 27, 2023 in Lemoore, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LEMOORE, CALIFORNIA - MAY 27: Molly Picklum of Australia competes during the World Surf League Surf Ranch Pro qualifying round on May 27, 2023 in Lemoore, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

World Surf League Championship Tour newcomer Molly Picklum credits her focus on health and a confident mindset for her success this year. 

The surfers of the World Surf League Championship Tour are heading into the final regular season event of the year. After nine events spanning the entire globe, the top five surfers for the men and women are beginning to surface. The Rip Curl WSL Finals event will pit the top five against each other in a one-day marathon contest to crown the champion. Molly Picklum has been charging up the ranks since January and has now solidified her spot in the finals.

Picklum is a 20-year-old surfer from Australia. This is her first full year in the Championship Tour and she has come out and showed the competition that she means business. Picklum has finished in the top five in every contest this year and won the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach back in February. Picklum spoke with FanSided about her preparation coming into her sophomore year on tour and what she did to prepare for a long season.

“I think preparation-wise it’s just taking care of our health,” she said. “It’s such a big journey, and we go to all different parts of the world, and some places are tougher than others to just take care of your general health and needs. Just prioritizing that and not putting that last after surfing, because our surfing performance drops if we’re not healthy. It’s definitely something I’m still trying to search for, and it’s an ongoing balance. I’m still learning so much in that area of just being able to have the stamina and find out how to be happy and healthy on the road for such a long time.”

Molly Picklum finished in second place during the Corona Open J-Bay

Picklum continued her unprecedented run with a second-place finish at the Corona Open J-Bay in Jefferys Bay, South Africa this past week. Not only will this finish help her in the WSL Finals that will be held at Lower Trestles, San Clemente, California in September, but a high placing in the standings could put her in a 2024 Summer Olympic qualifying spot.

The success and ranking on the WSL leaderboard help to determine a surfer’s qualification for the Olympic Games next summer. Each nation will send four athletes to represent their country, two males and two females. Picklum is currently the second-highest-ranked female from Australia and could find her way into an Olympic qualifying spot.

“It’s an interesting year, of course, being the Olympic qualifier year, and it’s definitely another factor to the Final Five, but also, to beat either Steph or Tyler and being top two for the Australians to then go on to Tahiti and represent Australia in the Olympics would be incredible,” she said. “And I’m definitely looking for that. It’s another goal of mine on top of the Final Five. But again, I can only do what I can do. I can’t control what I qualify for or where I come in, but yeah, let’s see. I am really excited, and I really do hope I get that opportunity.”

Currently, Picklum is in fourth place in the rankings but could improve on that with another big result in the last event of the year, SHISEIDO Tahiti Pro. This location will be the same wave the athletes will ride for the 2024 Olympic Games. Picklum and others will be able to get their practice in while putting in a last effort to grab those points before the WSL Finals.

Watch Picklum and others as they hit the big swell in Tahiti beginning on Aug. 11 on and WSL on YouTube. 

Next. Surfing 2024 Olympic qualifying, who’s in, who’s out, and who has work to do. dark