Carissa Moore on her break from the WSL tour life, her passion projects, and a Summer Olympic Games appearance

Former world champion Carissa Moore is going to be having a different kind of year as she steps away from competition to focus on family and passion projects.

SHISEIDO Tahiti Pro - Previews
SHISEIDO Tahiti Pro - Previews / Ryan Pierse/GettyImages

As the competitors of the World Surf League get set to kick off their 2024 season at one of the most legendary surf spots in the world, Banzai Pipeline, one former champion will be using this contest as a farewell of sorts. The five-time WSL champion is taking a step back from competition this year following the event in her home of Hawaii. Moore is set to embark on a different kind of journey filled with family and passion projects leading up to her second appearance on Team USA this summer at the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. Fansided caught up with Moore prior to the WSL kickoff event, The Lexus Pipe Pro.

"I don't think there's any sadness," Moore said of her decision to leave the WSL Championship Tour. "I think there's a lot of joy and a lot of freedom. It feels a little bit like a weight has been lifted, just kind of letting everyone in on the announcement and my decision and stuff. I've been super grateful for the amount of love and support that I felt through this transition. I'm looking forward to surfing at home in front of my family and friends, and hopefully, we get some good swell, and it's fun. I don't feel too much pressure, I think it's just about trying to get barreled and performing my best at this point."

Moore has been a staple on the WSL Championship Tour since her first season back in 2010 when it was called The Association of Surfing Professionals. She won a world title in her second year on tour and kept her dominance up through the next 12 years. Her fans and competitors are saddened to see her take time away from the tour, but Moore has other adventures and goals to look forward to. She has qualified for the Summer Olympic Games for the second time and will represent Team USA in Tahiti this summer.

In 2020 surfing was featured as an Olympic sport for the first time. The world tuned in to see the best surfers in the world compete like they never have before. Moore shone as a force to be reckoned with in Japan and took home the very first Gold Medal in surfing. She is excited about the chance to do it all again but this time the venue will be a bit different. The Summer Olympics will mainly happen in Paris but the surfers will be headed to the French Polynesian island of Tahiti, to a wave known as Teahupo’o.

"Oh, my gosh, I'm so excited to have qualified again for the Olympics and to compete in 2024, it's in Tahiti," she said. "I just had such an amazing experience in Tokyo, it was so fun to be with the team and compete for something that was bigger than myself. I think surfing can be kind of a selfish sport at times, so I just felt like, I don't know, we all came together to just put on a show for the world and share our sport. So that was really cool. I'm excited to do it again and in such an arena like Teahupo’o."

The impending summer filled with excitement will make way for a few months of passion projects and exciting new adventures for Moore. She plans on making her way to Tahiti for some practice before the Games kick off in July but has a few things to work on in the meantime. She shared her plans to travel with her non-profit organization called Moore Aloha. The organization looks to inspire and help the next generation of surfers grow through love for themselves and for the water. Moore wants to uplift young female surfers and give them the opportunities to find their own strength through surfing, much as she did.

"I started Moore Aloha in 2018 and it really started off as a passion project and it still is, and I'm just so grateful to see it grow over the last few years," she said. "This year, I'm planning on like five events in some different places, and just depending on timing and stuff, we're still figuring that out. We have a couple of mentorship programs, we have our monthly prompts going that award a scholarship for an essay. And what else I'm actually really excited about, I'm working on a film project with Red Bull and Peter Hamblin again that will hopefully be released later this year. I have a coffee table book that's coming out in April that I worked on with Rizzoli that celebrates Hawaii and Hawaiian surfing and Hawaiian surfers. So that comes out like in the spring."

So, those who are sad to see Moore step away from the competition scene will not be left completely in the dust. She has quite a few things planned for the 2024 year, in addition, she would like to spend time with family, something that many years traveling the world on tour has made her miss out on.

Fans can tune in to watch Moore and the other athletes of the WSL compete in Hawaii at The Lexus Pipe Pro on or WSL on YouTube. The competition window for the event begins on Jan. 29 with the opening rounds.