What Do ESPYS Mean for Surfing?

Voting's now open for ESPN's annual awards, and two ASP surfers have made the cut. Carissa Moore (HAW) has been nominated for Best Female Action Sports Athlete and reigning Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) champion Grant "Twiggy" Baker (ZAF) is up for Best Male Action Sports Athlete. Along with Moore, snowboarders Jamie Anderson and Kelly Clark, freestyle skier Maddie Bowman, and motocross rider Vicki Golden were also nominated in the category.

Moore, who also scored a nomination in 2012, is the current ASP Women's World Championship Tour leader (WCT), and defending champ. The ASP caught up with her to get her take on what the ESPYS mean for surfing.

Carissa Moore (HAW) boosted into the world No.1 spot on the Women's World Tour rankings after winning the US Open today.ASP/Rowland Moore, on her way to yet another win. 2013 Vans US Open of Surfing. WSL / Sean Rowland

This isn't the first time you've been nominated; what does being in the running again mean to you, if anything?
It's an amazing honor to be nominated again. To be recognized amongst the world's best athletes is incredible.

What does it signal when pro surfers are recognized by a so-called mainstream sports organization, outside surf-specific media?
It's great to see outside media taking notice of surfing. Surfers are hard-working, talented athletes so it's cool to see other mainstream sports organizations recognizing that.

Carissa Moore Moore, pensive at the 2014 Billabong Rio Women's Pro. WSL / Kirstin Scholtz

The first surfer who won an ESPY was Sofia Mulanovich, in 2005. What do you think has changed for professional surfing since then, in terms of how it's seen and understood outside the sport?
I think surfing has really evolved into a sport. Professional surfers have turned into athletes. Everyone at our level takes it very seriously and I think that translates into exciting competition, which in turn brings more eyes to our sport. Of course, this couldn't be done without a solid platform that the ASP has developed and steadily improved upon over the past 30 or so years.

What would you hope changes in the future, if anything?
Being that there have been so many positive changes over the past year -- like the increase in prize money and the addition of fantastic new venues -- my hope is that it continues on its present course. We all have dream jobs surfing on tour, it would be amazing just to see it continue on its present course.

You're an incredible competitor in the water. How would you size up your ESPY competition?
The other four action sports women nominated for this years ESPY are amazing! Olympians and multiple X Game winners! So crazy! I'm extremely flattered to be even mentioned amongst these women and am so excited to hopefully get to meet them!

Your next big competition is the Vans US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach. What are you up to until then? Are you doing any specific training to adjust to the beach break there?
The plans keep changing. I was just going to cruise at home [in Hawaii] till the US Open and maybe fly up a week early and surf before the event. Or I might squeeze in a little trip somewhere... we will see :)

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