Caroline Marks wins the Rip Curl WSL Final to become the 2023 World Champion

Caroline Marks defeated Carissa Moore to become the WSL 2023 World Champion at the Rip Curl WSL Final.
2023 Rip Curl WSL Finals
2023 Rip Curl WSL Finals / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

There is a new World Surf League champion and her name is Caroline Marks. The 21-year-old won her very first World Championship this past weekend by defeating two former champions in the water at Lower Trestles, CA. Marks lifted that championship trophy in front of her local crowd on Saturday after defeating former champion Carissa Moore in two heats.

The World Surf League is home to the best surfers in the world. For 10 months these men and women travel the world and compete against each other to see who is the best. On the day of the final contest, the top five are pitted against each other to battle it out in a one-day winner-takes-all competition. This year Marks came into the final in the number three spot and had some work to do. Luckily Marks is very familiar with this wave at Lower Trestles. She caught up with Fansided to discuss her win and more.

Marks is originally from Florida but relocated to California to improve on her surfing. As a local, she knew that she would do well at her local spot. This format of the final taking place at Trestles began two years ago, and this year was the first chance Caroline had to show what she could do at home.

"The first year I missed it by one spot," she said. "There were a couple of cancelations because of COVID and the next year I missed part of the season. But yeah, I knew that I could do well here. Lowers is so close to my house that I can ride my bike there which is great."

Marks showed her best stuff on a day when the waves were perfect. First, she was matched up with number four ranked Caitlin Simmers. Marks was able to slide on through and continue her charge up the rankings. Next, she took down former world champ Tyler Wright. Marks said that she had anticipated tough heats all day considering all the ladies involved in the Final were all very talented and the best out there. Lastly, Marks was up against Moore, she defeated her in two straight sets to become the 2023 champion.

Just two days out of the final, Marks was still beaming from the win. She explained that the reality of it all had not yet sunk in yet. Marks, being from Florida, is a role model for kids from the East Coast. Typically the East Coast surfers don't get the biggest waves and many dream of following in Marks' footsteps in traveling to California and winning a world title.

"It's pretty cool to think that people look up to me because I still have so many heroes and people that I look up to," she said. "I guess my goal for that is just to be a positive influence and just show everyone that I do this because I just really love surfing and it brings me so much happiness and joy. So yeah, just do what you love and follow your dreams. My biggest dream ever came true two days ago. So it's pretty crazy."

Along with winning the World Title, Marks also qualified for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. She recently won the event in Tahiti, the location where the Olympics will be held, which she feels gave her the momentum she needed to win in the finals. Marks plans on doing some traveling during her off-season and plans on adding Tahiti to the list if she can.

"For the off-season, I would love to go on some surf trips with my brothers and my friends," she said. "Tahiti is a wave that I would love to get more experienced at especially now that it's an Olympic venue and an event on tour. So yeah, I would love to get over there for some more swells and get more practicing and I love Tahiti. So for sure, we'll be looking at some swells over there."

Following the win many of Marks' peers took to social media to congratulate her. They all seem to believe that this will be the first World Title of many to come for this young, talented surfer. Marks will be taking some time with family and friends but before we all know it winter will be here and the waves will return ready to be ridden.

Next. WSL Tyler Wright. Tyler Wright on the Rip Curl WSL Final and making the Australian Olympic team. dark