Summer is in full swing on Southern California's coastline, south swells are in the water and the women's Qualifying Series (QS) is ready to descend upon Oceanside ahead of the Nissan Super Girl Pro QS 6,000. Each year this event brings in the likes of esteemed WSL Champions to the next generation who are just getting their careers started to contest for the heavily-sought after 6,000 points that can turn a competitor's year around in an instant.
Carissa Moore is Back For Another Cape
The 3-time WSL Champion first competed at the Super Girl Pro in 2013, the same year of her first World Title, and secured her first-ever cape last year after making consecutive appearances since 2016. Moore's season got a jump-start following her Super Girl win last year, finally breaking into the Semifinals at the Vans US Open the next week, before winning the Surf Ranch Pro. Now, she comes into Oceanside current World No. 1 and looking to keep her rhythm before the critical back-half of the year approaches.
"I'm really looking forward to surfing this year's Super Girl Pro and for me I think it's another great opportunity to be in the jersey," Moore said. "There's not as much pressure and I'm just trying to keep getting as much experience as I can while enjoying myself. The opportunity to defend my win here is really cool too but I'm really just focused on pushing my surfing in the jersey and staying sharp."
But, Moore's work away from the jersey is something to take note of with her non-profit "Moore Aloha" that she jump-started in January with their first activation.
"As we surf so many years and have won titles, we gain a platform and how are you going to use that platform," Moore said. "It's special to surf for something bigger than yourself and to have that different purpose to keep you going when things maybe aren't going the way you want them to. This has definitely given me a second win and love for the sport and I'm excited to see where it goes."
Super Girl Embodied: Alyssa Spencer
For the likes of current QS No. 4 Alyssa Spencer the opportunity at hand . The Carlsbad, California, native comes in at only 16 years of age and has already proven she can keep pace with the world's best. Spencer finds herself on the opposite side of the sands nowadays after attending as a spectator throughout her childhood and embraces each opportunity as they come her way.
"The Super Girl Pro is one of my favorite events of the year," Spencer said. "I used to come down to the event when I was little and be the girl who was running to the waters edge to get autographs from my idols. I'm so grateful to be where I am today and be able to compete against the girls I look up too. It's my dream to qualify for the CT. Going into this year I just wanted to have fun and now I am just enjoying this journey and excited to see what the rest of this year has to bring."
The 16-year-old also recognizes what this event embodies and the push for women around the world is now more apparent than ever within the surfing world.
"I love what the event stands for and I am super grateful to be apart of women's action sports at this time," Spencer added. "We are making a huge push in the progression of the sport and empowering each other to be the best version of our selfs. It's so special to have events like these that are focused around women empowerment."
Mid-Year Picture Taking Shape
The Super Girl Pro kicks off a vital leg for the women with 16,000 total points on the line in a matter of two weeks in Southern California that will truly paint the qualification picture at its end. With only two major events following this leg, it is an exquisite opportunity for these women to catapult themselves up the rankings or hold their ground firmly among the top of the ranking.
But, a big result in Oceanside is not easy to come by for the QS elite with thirteen of the women's CT in attendance including former event winners Tatiana Weston-Webb, Sage Erickson, and Malia Manuel. But, the QS rankings leader Isabella Nichols is just one of the many talents on hand that can give them a run for their money along with wildcards Bethany Hamilton and Alana Blanchard adding to a stacked cast once more.
Nichols' run of results doesn't come as a surprise to those who have seen her rise through the ranks following her win at the World Junior Championships in 2015 and has finished each year right at No. 20 on the QS since. Even a few appearances against the world's best have helped shed light on the Australian talent and this year she's looking to join the full-time.
"It's always such a fun contest and the organizers do so well to make sure us girls have a great time, plus I really like the whole military aspect of Oceanside has - it's super different from home," Nichols said. "I'm super motivated and I think there's definitely that little extra excitement going into this contest and the US Open knowing that it'll only take one more good result. The ideal situation would be to go into the last couple contests of the year feeling secure and not fighting for a spot on Tour."
Event organizers will convene at 7:00am PDT for the 7:30am PDT start to Round 1 action.
The Nissan Super Girl Pro will run at Oceanside Pier beginning July 26 - 28.