Malia Manuel burst onto the pro surfing scene as a 14-year-old prodigy in 2008, when she became the youngest surfer to ever win the US Open of Surfing. At the time, she was the latest in a long line of talented surfers emerging from Kauai, which had become the epicenter of progression thanks to locals like the Andy and Bruce Irons, Dustin Barca, and Sebastian Zietz. In 2011, she joined the Qualifying Series and won two more events on her way to becoming a full time member of the Championship Tour in 2012. Her surfing is upbeat and stylish, and matches her personality in both its elegance and authority. And when she won the rookie of the year honor in 2012, finishing No. 6, many thought a future World Title was all but inevitable. But after her seven years on tour, she's collected a handful of Qualifying Series wins and despite making five Finals still searching for her first Championship Tour victory. The highest rank she’s ever reached is No. 5 in 2014. To that end, many believe Manuel is the most underrated surfer on the women’s side, and is long overdue for a serious breakout. Her 2017 was marred by an injury sustained at Margaret River and absence may have lit a fire. That year she came back and ended her year strong with a runner-up finish at Honolua Bay on Maui, which she went on to repeat in 2018. Still cutting edge in her surfing, and overwhelmingly positive in her attitude, she remain ever hungry to live her best life and keep striving for that elusive first Championship Tour win. There where would be no more popular winner on tour if that dream does comes true.