Tyler Wright arrived on the Championship Tour a highly touted prodigy. She'd won a CT event as a wildcard at the age of 14, and became the youngest surfer to ever qualify at 16. And while she found competitive success early, the pressure of being pro weighed heavy on her young soul. For a solid three years Wright was adrift, uncertain of her true passion. But when she slid down the rankings in 2015 something inside her finally clicked. After a tough loss at Trestles that year, Tyler was struck by something odd: For the first time in a long time...she cared.
But a few short months after she decided to take on the world, the universe hit back. Tyler's brother Owen suffered a traumatic brain injury at the end of the 2015 season. Her entire world was rocked. Owen was her hero.
By the time the 2016 season started, she wasn't even sure if she could leave his side. But after winning the season opener on the Gold Coast, Owen demanded she do so. The hard-charging Australian pushed past her emotional pain to win her first-ever World Title at the end of 2016. This year, Tyler has her brother back. His determination to overcome such incredible odds to succeed has instilled her with more confidence. When she tore her MCL in Portugal, Wright laughed off reports that her season was over. In some ways, she was just getting started.
Now she's heading to the Maui Women's Pro ranked No. 2 on the Jeep Leaderboard, with her eyes laser focused on capturing another World Title. Sure, she's up against four very viable contenders in the last event of the season, with Sally Fitzgibbons, Courtney Conlogue, Carissa Moore and Stephanie Gilmore all in the mix, but those who understand Tyler know that's exactly the kind of scenario that gets her fire burning. It's also why they consider her the favorite.
Catch Wright and the rest of the Top 17 live daily in Maui from Nov. 25 - Dec. 6.