- Sean Evans / ISA

After three days of fierce competition in everything from waist-high wedges to overhead typhoon surf, the United States' Carissa Moore and Brazil's Italo Ferreira have won the first-ever Olympic Surfing gold medal.

"The scale of this event felt so much bigger," said Moore. "Getting to share the sport with so many people that maybe have never even watched surfing was super special. As a Hawaiian, just seeing Duke Kahanamoku's dream come true to have surfing in the Olympics is super special. It's a big time for surfing to be recognized on this level."

Olympic Medalists Italo Ferreira Kanoa Igarashi Owen Wright Surfing's first men's Olympic medalists (left to right): Kanoa Igarashi, Italo Ferreira and Owen Wright. - Pablo Jimenez / ISA

For Ferreira, the win caps off a fairytale ascendancy as he's gone from 2019 World Champion to Olympic gold medalist. Meanwhile, for Moore, the honor secures her place as one of the best athletes surfing has ever seen after defeating South Africa's Bianca Buitendag in the gold medal match.

Rounding out the podium and earning the bronze was another Japanese surfer, Amuro Tsuzuki, and Australia's Owen Wright, who were both formidable competitors throughout the entire surfing competition.

Read the full Olympic Final Recap here.

For those that didn't come away with a medal, of course, there was disappointment, but after a bit of reflection, most surfers are coming away with their first-ever Olympic experience with a sense of appreciation and gratitude for what they've just been through. Here are some of the more moving messages they've shared with their fans:

Surfers Set To Make History On First-Ever Olympic Finals Day

After two fierce days of surfing in everything from waist-high runners to wild and windy seas, the Olympic Quarterfinals are locked in and the stage is set for surfing's first Olympic gold medalists.

Men's Quarterfinals Matchups

  1. Kanoa Igarashi (JAP) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
  2. Michel Bourez (FRA) vs Gabriel Medina (BRA)
  3. Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Hiroto Ohara (JAP)
  4. Luccas Mesinas (PER) vs. Owen Wright (AUS)

Women's Quarterfinal Matchup

  1. Bianca Buitendag (RSA) vs. Yolanda Hopkins (POR)
  2. Brisa Hennessy (CRC) vs. Caroline Marks (USA)
  3. Carissa Moore (USA) vs. Silvana Lima (BRA)
  4. Amuro Tsuzuki (JAP) vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)

Olympic Finals Day Schedule

The schedule for Olympic Surfing on July 27 will be as follows:

7am Men's Quarterfinals
9:24am Women's Quarterfinals
11:48am Men's Semifinals
1:00pm Women's Semifinals
2:16 pm Men's Bronze Match
3:01 pm Women's Bronze Match
3:46 pm Men's Gold Match
4:31 pm Women's Gold Match

The Gold Medal Matches will be immediately followed by the Victory Ceremonies.

All times in Japan Standard Time.

Five Epic Olympic Round 3 Heats We Can't Wait To Watch

Upcoming Heat Draws

Up next, the Olympic Surfing format will roll into the classic surfer-on-surfer format. There are no shortage of radical match-ups, including the American bout of John John Florence vs. Kolohe Andino. The two have literally been competing together since they were kids, and while it's a bummer one of them will be bowing out before the Quarterfinals, no doubt this heat is going to bring the fireworks.

And then there's the classic rivalry featuring Gabriel Medina vs. Julian Wilson. The two have been going toe to toe on the CT for a decade, and now they're taking their feud to the Olympic stage. With Wilson stepping away from full-time competitive surfing after the Olympics, look for him to go all in against Medina.

Team USA Day 1 Olympic Competition Kolohe Andino catching up with Team USA after advancing out of Round 1. - Ben Reed / ISA

For the women, the heat featuring Carissa Moore vs. Sofía Mulánovich holds a lot of intrigue. Both are World Champs, both have broken their fair share of barriers, and now they'll surf against one another with Olympic glory on the line. Moore would appear the clear favorite given the form she's been in all year, but don't count out the veteran experience of Mulánovich. And with swell on the way, anything can happen.

Brazil's Tatiana Weston-Webb facing off against Japanese surfer Amuro Tsuzuki will also be a heady clash. Weston-Webb has the confidence and has been on a roll all year, meanwhile, Tsuzuki will have the local knowledge and hometown vibes on her side.

Finally, in a match-up featuring two veterans of the game, Owen Wright has drawn Jeremy Flores. Both leaned into their respective experiences to put in solid performances on day one and will become more of a threat the more energy there is in the water.

Round 3 competition is expected to start promptly on July 26 at 7am local time. The day will start with eight heats of women followed by eight heats of men. Here are the compete draws from our friends at the ISA:

Surflngs Long Awaited Olympic Debut Arrives

With rippable, waist-high peaks running down the beach, Olympic Surfing finally got it's moment in the sun. And oh what a moment it was.

Ushering in this new Olympic era, who else but Brazil's Italo Ferreira fired things up with an absolutely electric performance.

"It feels amazing to be an Olympian," surmised local hero Hiroto Ohhara.

By day's end, two rounds of men's and women's action was in the books and the stage was set for what's sure to be three more thrilling days of competition. There's plenty of swell looming in the forecast, and with the world's best surfers still in the draw, the race for the gold has become a reality to everyone.

Here's how some of the competitors are reacting to a day that can only be described as historic:

The Debut Of Olympic Surfing Has Arrived

After decades of work, the heartbreak and triumph of qualification and the pageantry of the Opening Ceremony, there's every chance we'll see Olympic Surfing get underway today.

The eight-day competition waiting period begins today, July 25th at 7:00am local time -- Japan is 16 hours ahead of Los Angeles, which means 3:00pm PT on July 24th -- and it will take approximately four of those days to complete the event. This means that within the next week we're likely to know who won Gold for their country.

This has been a long time coming, especially after the Games were delayed by a year due to the ongoing pandemic - which is still sinking its teeth into proceedings, with Portugal's Frederico Morais unable to compete due to a positive Covid test.

But despite the ups and downs, some of the world's best surfers are about to put on a show in front of the biggest audience the sport has ever seen.

The Battle For National Medals Begins

There are six nations in the field who have sent a full team to Tokyo -- two men and two women -- and the competition for who tallies the most medals will be fierce. For a full breakdown of all surfers competing in the Games, you can click to see all 40 surfers competiting in Tokyo 2020.

On the men's side, it's hard to argue that Team Brazil are the clear favorites, with Gabriel Medina and Italo Ferreira two of the most dominant athletes in the sport today.

While when it comes to the women, Team USA and Team Australia will be the ones to watch, with four-time World Champion Carissa Moore and young phenomenon Caroline Marks representing the stars and stripes, and seven-time World Champion as well as fierce competitor Sally Fitzgibbons on Team Australia.

But this is a new format, in an unfamiliar venue for most of the field. There's every chance we could see some big upsets, and a lesser-known athlete make a huge name for themselves.

Featured Round 1 Matchups

When the Olympic Surfing competition gets called on, the event will run as follows according to the International Surfing Association, the organization recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing:

  • Round 1: The first round is non-elimination. Surfers will be seeded into five heats of four surfers each, with the top two surfers advancing straight to Round 3. The bottom two surfers will be seeded into Round 2, the first elimination round.

  • Julian Wilson And Kolohe Andino: In Round 1, Heat 3 of the men's competition we'll see Australia's Julian Wilson who recently announced that after the Olympics he will be stepping away from professional surfing, so this will be the last time to see one of the defining technical and progressive aerial surfers throw down in competition. Wilson will surf against the United States' Kolohe Andino, a fierce competitor who has been sidelined with an injury for most of the year, making him hungry to show the world just what kind of surfing he can bring to the Games.

  • Tatiana Weston-Webb And Johanne Defay: In Round 1, Heat 4 of the women's competition we'll see Brazil's Tatiana Weston-Webb who sits as World No. 4 in the water surfing against France's Johanne Defay who occupies the World No. 2 spot on the WSL Championship Tour leaderboard. Both have won events in the 2021 WSL CT season, and both possess blistering backhand form, albeit with differing stances -- Johanne surfs regular (left foot forward) while Weston-Webb surfs goofyfooted (right foot forward).

  • Heat Draw: To see a full list of who's surfing against who, you can click to see the Olympic heat draw here.
United States' Kolohe Andino Olympic Warmup United States' Kolohe Andino practices at the Olympic surfing venue, Shidashita Beach. - Ben Reed / ISA

How To Watch Olympic Surfing

With the inaugural Olympic Surfing competition waiting period beginning on July 25 -- Japan is 16 hours ahead of Los Angeles -- now's a good time to plot your course for how to watch this historic event.

The Surfing competition at Tokyo 2020 will take place during an 8-day window from July 25 to August 1 local time, and the competition can be run in as little as four days. According the Olympic Surfing Schedule, on run days competition will be called on at 7:00am local time.

Also according to NBC, the US broadcaster for the Games, "the surfing schedule is dependent on expected wave conditions. While the norm for some Olympic sports is to postpone competition in case of bad weather, surfing is known to postpone competition if better conditions are expected later on. If conditions allow, competition can be completed in just four days, but it is possible that more time will be required."

The International Surfing Association(ISA) -- the organization recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing -- is encouraging fans to use this tool to see where you can watch the Olympics action live in your country. 

For a full breakdown on how to watch from wherever you are, click to see the full How To Watch Surfing At The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 article.

Tatiana Weston-Webb Olympic Practice 02 Brazil's Tatiana Weston-Webb on her backhand during an Olympic preactice session at Shidashita Beach. - WSL / Ben Reed / ISA

Swell Is On The Way

Earlier this week, Surfline offered up the first look at the potential for surf during the Olympic venue thanks to a promising forecast compiled by Lead Forecaster Kurt Korte. With a couple of tropical cyclones spinning out in the swell window for Shidashita Beach, the outlook continues to improve, and with it, the excitement level is growing from athletes and fans alike.

On Sunday, July 25, there appears to be a good chance for some waist- to shoulder-high surf to start the day with increasing size as a new swell begins to fill in. Unfortunately, it looks like onshore winds could be problematic in the afternoon.

For the full forecast breakdown, click to see the Surfline: Opening Days Of Olympic Surfing Competition Could Enjoy Sizable Tropical Cyclones Swell article.

Surfline Shida Beach Forecast Surfline forecast for the Olympic surfing venue, Shidashita Beach. - WSL / Surfline

Sally Fitzgibbons Flexes Her Air Game In Final Prep

Australia's Sally Fitzgibbons, has put a lot of work into her air game recently, and the results are paying off. She's launched some solid airs in recent competitions, and will no doubt but looking to make this a point of difference when the event gets underway.

Fitzgibbons will be up against Brisa Hennessy, Mahina Maeda and Bianca Buitendag in the opening round.

Team USA Celebrates In Style

Team USA weren't able to make it to the Opening Ceremony, but that didn't stop them from celebrating the huge achievement of making it to Tokyo to represent their country.

Moore posted a series of photos showing her, John John Florence, Caroline Marks and Kolohe Andino celebrating at the team house.

This must feel especially satisfying for Florence and Andino: Both had surgery in recent months, and plenty thought they wouldn't be ready to compete. Judging by the footage of them warming up in recent days, both are fighting fit and will be bringing their A-game once the first heats get underway.

Surfing Soaks Up Its First Olympic Opening Ceremony

Tokyo Olympic Opening Ceremony The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony. - Getty / Ezra Shaw

Amongst all of the pomp and pageantry of the Olympic Opening Ceremonies, for the first time in the 125-year history of the modern Olympiad, surfers walked shoulder to shoulder with the world's most elite athletes. The magnitude of the moment was not lost on anyone.

"I am really proud to carry my nation's flag in the Opening Ceremony. For any athlete, representing their country in the Olympics is already big, but carrying the flag is even bigger," said Ramzi Boukhiam, who was the flag bearer for Morocco.

"I am a little nervous, but also excited. It's the experience of a lifetime that I will remember forever. My kids will see it. Everyone will see it. I will be one of the first Olympic surfers to carry the flag. It's big for me, my country, and my family."

Other surfers to hold their nation's flags included Daniella Rosas and Lucca Mesinas from Peru and Rio Waida from Indonesia.

"After 27 years of paddling for the Olympic wave, we are finally riding it," surmised ISA President Fernando Aguerre. "The moment has finally arrived. We are in Tokyo and ready to watch the first Olympic surfers take to the water. I cannot wipe the smile off my face. I cannot believe it."

From Tokyo to the sands of Shidashita Beach beach, here are some of the moments from the athletes that were there to experience it:

Frederico Morais Unable To Compete Due To Covid-19

Portugal's Frederico Morais has withdrawn from the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Taking to Instagram earlier today, he announced he's tested positive for covid.

The current World No. 11 surfer on the WSL Championship Tour stated, "This is likely the saddest video I've ever had to post. In 2019 I qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that were postponed because of COVID-19. And now, because of the virus I won't be able to compete nor represent my country."

Morais, 29, continued, "Lucky my life has always been filled with obstacles that I've overcome one by one, this will be no different. Paris 2024 I'll be ready! Good luck to my country Portugal, I'll be there with you in thought!"

Morais went on to say in a statement issued through Portugal's Olympic team and reported by the Associated Press, "I was very careful. I have been fully vaccinated for over a month, but I ended up contracting the virus." He continued, "I feel fine and I will carry out my isolation. I will be following every second of our team."

Morais is currently listed in the [Olympic surfing heat draw (https://isasurf.org/downloads/HEATS_AND_DRAW_TOKYO_2020.pdf) and was scheduled to surf against Japan's Kanoa Igarashi, France's Jeremy Flores and Peru's Miguel Tudela.

What Comes Next For Olympic Surfing?

The Surfing competition at Tokyo 2020 will take place during an 8-day window from July 25 to August 1 local time, and the competition can be run in as little as four days. According the Olympic Surfing Schedule, on run days competition will be called on at 7:00am local time.

The official forecast from Surfline is looks promising. Thanks to powerful tropical storms in the Pacific, Sunday and Monday are looking sizable, but wind conditions may be an issue. There's more swell and favorable winds on tap for later in the week. See the full forecast on Surfline.

Olympic Surfing Format Explained

When the Olympic Surfing competition gets called on, the event will run as follows according to the International Surfing Association, the organization recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing:

  • The path to Gold: The Tokyo 2020 format includes 6 rounds of surfing that will narrow the field of 20 men and 20 women down to the Gold Medalists.

  • Round 1: The first round is non-elimination. Surfers will be seeded into five heats of four surfers each, with the top two surfers advancing straight to Round 3. The bottom two surfers will be seeded into Round 2, the first elimination round.

  • Round 2: The second round will include two heats of five surfers each. The top three surfers of each heat will advance, while the bottom two surfers will be eliminated from the competition.

  • Round 3: Surfers will be seeded into eight heats of two surfers each. The surfer who places first moves through the bracket, while the surfer who places second is eliminated.

  • Round 4 (Quarterfinals): Features four heats of two surfers. The top surfer of each heat advances. The surfer in second is eliminated.

  • Round 5 (Semifinals): Two heats of two surfers. The top surfers go to the final. The bottom two surfers go to the Bronze Medal match.

  • Bronze Match: A two-person heat where the top surfer earns the Bronze Medal.

  • Gold Match: A two-person heat where the top surfer earns the Gold Medal and the second placing surfer earns the Silver Medal.

  • Heat Draw: To see who's surfing against who, you can click to see the Olympic heat draw here.

  • Surfer Bios: And for a full breakdown of all surfers competing in the Games, you can click to see all 40 surfers competiting in Tokyo 2020.

  • Qualification: Please visit the International Surfing Association for more information regarding competition format and to see how all 40 surfers qualified for Tokyo 2020.

Medina Rides A Fish, Moore Gets Her Jersey, And Here's How To Watch Olympic Surfing

Gabriel Medina Spotted Riding A Mayhem Fish

Current World Number 1, Gabriel Medina was just spot warming up on a Lost Round Nose Fish. Normally we'd expect to see him on his Cabianca shapes, but he's unexpectedly been toying around on a relatively unconventional design from Matt Biolos of Lost Surfboards. The board was originally made famous by Andy Irons, Cory Lopez and Chris Ward. And Ward doubled own on the board when he famously made the Finals of the 2005 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast while riding this model. Could Medina take a page out of Ward's playbook and ride the RNF in the Olympics?

Gabriel Medina Olympic Warmup Gabriel Medina rolling through Olympic warmups on a Lost Round Nose Fish. - Sean Evans / ISA

Carissa Moore Gets Her Olympic Jersey 

Nothing could make the magic of competing in surfing inaugural run in the Olympics more real than finally seeing your official jersey, and the occasion got four-time World Champion Carissa Moore a bit emotional. 

"It's getting more and more real everyday," the surfer from Hawaii said. 

Moore is a clear medal favorite -- the only person in the draw with more competitive success than her is Stephanie Gilmore, a seven-time World Champion. But while Gilmore gets her on number of titles, Moore has a new-and-improved air game, which could make all the difference once things get underway. She'll be on a well-honed quiver of Matt Biolos-shaped boards, who's foam is consistently under the feet of the best aerialists on the planet. New jersey, new boards, and a new swell on the way, everything's setting up for Moore's run at Gold.

Where to Watch And Other Important Info 

The International Surfing Association (ISA) has released some key information regarding Olympic Surfing, and with the surf competition waiting period beginning on July 25th -- Japan is 16 hours ahead of Los Angeles -- now's a good time to plot your course for viewing.

Perhaps the most critical is a helpful tool the ISA has put together which could help you figure out where you can watch the event in your country. They're encouraging fans to use this tool to see where you can watch the Olympics action live in your country. 

For viewers in the USA, the surfing competition will be available on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports App with TV provider authentication.

Ramzi Boukhiam Olympic Warmup Ramzi Boukhiam navigating the gauntlet at the OIympic surfing venue after a warmup session. - Sean Evans / ISA

Cyclone Swell Bound For Shidashita Beach

Surfline Lead Forecaster Kurt Korte is giving us reason to be optimistic. With a couple of tropical cyclones spinning out in the swell window for Shidashita Beach, the outlook continues to improve, and with it, the excitement level is growing from athletes and fans alike.

On Sunday, July 25, there appears to be a good chance for waist-to-shoulder-high surf to start the day with increasing size as a new swell begins to fill in. Onshore winds could be problematic in the afternoon so stay tuned as we continue to update the forecast information.

After that, another pulse of tropical swell sets up for the middle of the week with better conditions.

"A favorable pattern sets up behind the tropical system that impacts the area to start the contest window, producing a multi-day run of contestable surf for the second half of next week into next weekend," continues Korte. "There are indications we may see another tropical system try to spin up in our swell window during that time frame which would further enhance the potential surf size."

Surfline Shida Beach Forecast Surfline's Shida Beach forecast. - WSL / Surfline

Owen Wright Is Kitted Up And Ready To Rumble 

Team Australia's Owen Wright is also decked out in his official team kit, and has got a few warmup sessions under his belt. 

As Wright says in his post, the surf has been small -- as it was expected to be -- but in a happy surprise, there's swell on the way, and there's every chance we could see Olympic surfing in pumping waves. And standing a stout 6'3", Wright will surely welcome any bump in size. A classic power surfer with a massive under-the-lip backside hook, put the goofy-footer in wedging lefts and it's on.

Brisa Hennessy Tours The Athlete's Village 

One of the greatest experiences for athletes is staying in the Olympic Village -- there's no other situation where so many elite sportspeople from all across the globe would share accommodation and get to know each other. 

Costa Rica's Brisa Hennessy gives us a behind the scenes look at it. She's also been warming up in the ocean.

Here Come The Kiwis!

Team New Zealand is also lapping up the atmosphere in the Village, with Billy Stairmand and Ella Williams both getting settled in. 

They're representing a small country that punches well above its weight when it comes to sporting success, and come from a land full of amazing waves with minimal crowds which produces incredibly well-rounded surfers.

Stairmand has a stacked heat first up, opening against Kolohe Andino, Julian Wilson as well as Peru's Lucca Mesinas.

Willams has Caroline Marks, Yolanda Hopkins and Leilani McGonagle in her heat, so stay tuned to see how the Southern Hemisphere surfers fare on opening day.

JS Industries Delivers Some Colorful Blades

Australia's Julian Wilson and JS Industries have been working on something seriously beautiful surfboards for the Games. As spotted on Wilson's Instagram, his fresh boards seem to be using HYFI technology that is multi-layer epoxy construction that makes the board lighter, stronger and have an ideal spring-loaded flex. Wilson's explosive surfing matched with these springy boards could be a recipe for success as he won a Qualifying Series event in Newcastle in 2020 on one -- and the conditions on Finals day could be similar to what we see at Shida.

Gilmore And The Aussies Have Landed, Bourez Takes Flight And Ferreira Just Keeps Hammering

steph gilmore bali shaka Stephanie Gilmore - WSL / Matt Dunbar

July 21, 2021 -- With less than 48 hours until the Olympic Opening Ceremonies and surfing's historic debut, there's a lot happening right now between Tokyo and the Olympic surfing venue at Shidashita Beach.

By the time you read this, the Australian team will be in country, while the French squad is steadily and quietly making a case for themselves as medal contenders.

Team Australia Has Touched Down

Most of the Irukandjis -- Team Australia, named after a deadly jellyfish -- have touched down in Tokyo and are ready to get warmed up for their first heats.

With its deep love for surfing, so much so that it's largely ingrained in the national culture, there's a lot of pressure on the Australian team to perform, especially as it is composed of some of the most experienced competitive surfers in the world.

Julian Wilson and Owen Wright both have a well-rounded approach which puts them among the top tier of athletes competing, but it's the Australian women who are well and truly medal favorites, with a seven-time World Champion in Stephanie Gilmore and one of the most tenacious competitors in the sport, Sally Fitzgibbons, who has won the last two major events she competed in.

Stephanie Gilmore Talks Green And Gold

Speaking of Gilmore, she was on a different flight to Japan than the rest of the team, but she's on the way to Tokyo too, dressed for the occasion in green and gold, Australia's colors. If you have ever wondered why these two colors are synonymous with Australian sport, Steph provides a great explanation in her post.

"Because Gold conjures images of Australia's beaches, mineral wealth, grain harvests and the fleece of Australian wool. Green evokes the forests, eucalyptus trees and pastures of the Australian landscape," says Gilmore.

As mentioned, Steph is one of the favorites in the draw -- with the most competitive success and world titles, men or women -- and after an illustrious career will be looking to add a medal to her trophy cabinet.

Gilmore is also one of the most high-profile Australian Olympians. She's a household name, and you can bet that much of the country will tune in when she competes.

Italo Ferreira Hammering At Home

While most other competitors are in transit, in the water, or soaking up the Japanese culture, it looks like defending WSL World Champ Italo Ferreira is trying to fit in some last-minute strength training before the Opening Ceremonies on Friday. No word yet on how the rest of Team Brazil is spending their time in Olympic beach housing, but all we can say about Italo's fitness program at this point is that the man's a beast.

Mahina Maeda Gives Host Nation Japan A Lot To Cheer About

It's all smiles for Mahina Maeda and her Japanese teammates, Kanoa Igarashi, Hiroto Ohhara and Amuro Tsuzuki as the Opening Ceremonies are right around the corner and the Olympic surfing dream is about to come true. Representing the host country, a huge banner was unfurled in support of Maeda. She's got her locker all dialed and the biggest moment of her surfing career is now at hand.

Michel Bourez Reminds You Not To Sleep On His Air Game

Michel Bourez of Team France is famous for growing up at Teahupoo and his searing rail turns, so much so that you often forget he's no slouch in the air, either.

Ahead of jetting off to Tokyo, the Tahitian released a clip of his last-minute preparation, showing he's not forgotten how to fly. The man's small-wave game has always been an underrepresented aspect of his act. Over the course of his career he's actually more successful in beachbreaks than his is Pacific reefs.

Airs will form a key part of the Olympic judging criteria, and while there's some better-than-expected surf forecast, you can make a fairly safe assumption that whoever is on the podium will have taken to the sky at least a few times as they progress through the draw.

Jeremy Flores On That Olympic Feeling

And while we're on the subject of the French squad, the Olympic experience appears to be hitting Jeremy Flores.

"It's definitely different from everything I've been part of in my career," he reports.

Looking young and frothy in the small beachbreak conditions, just like Bourez, don't sleep on the cagey veteran Flores.

Caroline Marks And Her Backhand Attack

Team USA has made the most of some wave pool warm-up time. Yesterday we saw Carissa Moore hucking some nice airs, and today we're treated to Caroline Marks' famous backhand attack.

Marks has been compared to one of the greatest-ever backhand surfers, Australia's Mark Occhilupo, for good reason -- she's got style and flow with her back to the wave far beyond her years.

She's also another of the medal favorites in the women's draw, and judging by this footage, she's ready to rock.

What Injury? Kolohe Andino Looks Very Strong

After the wave pool, Team USA has hit the ocean, with some footage filtering out of Kolohe Andino shredding.

Andino -- like fellow Team USA member John John Florence -- had surgery just weeks before the games was set to begin, but after a triumphant rehab effort he's back to his best and well-placed to fight for a medal for the United States.

Sofia Mulanovich The Pride Of Peru

One of the greatest ambassadors for surfing in South America, for Peru's Sofía Mulánovich, this Olympic moment is the culmination of a lifetime of chasing her dreams. With a new quiver of Timmy Patterson shapes and her country's colors draped around her shoulders, could the 2004 WSL World Champ - the first South American to be crowned Champ - make just a little more history over the next couple weeks?

Carissa Moore Launches, Julian Wilson Talks Tokyo And Italo Ferreira's Quiver Revealed

Carissa Moore Photo Bombs Carissa Moore - WSL

July 20, 2021 -- Three days out from the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the surf scene in Japan is getting serious. Julian Wilson and the Aussies are wheels up and Shida bound. The Americans have been training in and out of the salt water for a few days now -- and Carissa Moore got to share her Japanese skills with some stoked locals.

Plus, we've got a sneak peek at Italo Ferreira's Olympic quiver and a primer on what the judges are going to be looking for when competition kicks off.

Carissa Moore Is Back In The Air

Carissa Moore recently did one of the biggest airs ever seen in a competitive surfing heat, and now she's back at it, taking to the sky once again as part of her preparations in Japan.

Aerial maneuvers will be key to success at the games, regardless of the conditions on offer at Shidashita; it's hard to imagine anyone without a serviceable air game being in contention for a medal, unless the waves are especially big and hollow.

Considering she's taken her moves above the lip to a whole new level, Moore must be feeling strong and confident just days away from the beginning of the waiting period.

Moore, Modern Ambassador Of Aloha

Not only is Moore taking to the sky and staking her claim as a medal favorite, she's been using the Japanese she began learning back in high school to thank a crowd of local fans. Just like Duke Kahanamoku's Olympic appearances a century ago, she's come from Hawaii as a true ambassador of aloha.

Julian Wilson Shares His Road To Tokyo

Julian Wilson has put all his effort towards chasing a medal in Tokyo, including stepping back from non-Olympic competitive surfing.

The Team Australia surfer has just released a new clip showcasing some of his preparation for the Games.

In the video, Wilson's kids help him decorate his Olympic quiver with green painted hand prints -- to match his green-and-gold boards, Australia's national colours.

Wilson has recently spoken about how important his family is to him, so this is a touching insight into what motivates and inspires athletes of his calibre.

Tatiana Weston-Webb's First Session In Japan

Team Brazil is one of the strongest going into Tokyo, with a powerhouse combination of Italo Ferreira and Gabriel Medina, as well as Tatiana Weston-Webb and Silvana Lima.

Weston-Webb has officially touched down in Tokyo and had her first session in water in what looks to have been small, fun, clean waves over the past few days.

John John Florence, Simone Biles Get The ESPN Treatment

What do gymnast superstar Simone Biles and World Champ John John Florence have in common? Other than their both favorites to vault on to the podium, they appeared today in a multimedia ESPN feature that breaks down the technique behind their talent.

In the case of Florence, they look at the backflip. And while you don't see a lot of backflips in competition simply because the make ratio is so low, especially if it's small, the Pipe Master hasn't totally left it out of the realm of possibilities.

"It'll either be the last seconds of a heat when I need a massive score or when I have a solid lead and room to try a big trick," Florence told ESPN.

Italo Ferrira's Quiver Gets An '80s Vibe From Shaper Timmy Patterson

San Clemente-based shaper Timmy Patterson, who's been working with World Champ Ferreira since the early days, recently explained how Ferreira's been enjoying his Synthetic '84 model, which he's included in his collection of Olympic boards.

Featuring a beaked nose in a nod to the classic ‘80s design, the board has been overhauled with modern curves, contours and rocker.

"When Italo first tried this board his guys in Brazil told us not to even bother making one for him, but I threw one in his order anyway and it turned out he loved it," Patterson explains. "So, we've been developing that for small beachbreak surf ever since."

Besides Ferreira, Patterson is also supplying boards for Peruvians Sofía Mulánovich and Lucas Mesinas, as well as Israel's Anat Lelior and Argentina's Leandro Usuna.

Italo Ferreira Olympic Quiver Timmy Patterson Italo Ferreira's Olympic quiver as hand-crafted by master shaper Timmy Patterson. - WSL / Timmy Patterson Surfboards

Ramzi Boukhiam Settles Into The Olympic Village

Morroco's Ramzi Boukhiam has joined the athletes getting settled into the Athlete's Village, giving us a sneak peak behind the scenes ahead of his warm-up sessions in the ocean.

Boukhiam has one of the sharpest backhand attacks on the Qualifying Series and could be a disruptive force in the Games. He is set to face Florence, Owen Wright and Manuel Selman in his first heat a Shida.

Olympic Surf Judging Primer

To crown champions, a set criteria is required, and for surfing, it's a simple triumvirate of speed, power and flow, all set against the backdrop of a judging scale and criteria tweaked for the ocean conditions on offer for any given day.

Think of it like this: Speed, power and flow are the pillars of the way judges analyze surfers' performances, but they'll put these categories into context at the start of each day -- you can surf far more fast and powerfully in hollow, sizeable waves than mediocre, fat waves.

Beyond these three major considerations, judges will also take the following into account: commitment and degree of difficulty, innovative and progressive maneuvers, combination of major maneuvers and variety of maneuvers.

Speaking of maneuvers, they can also be lumped into three distinct buckets: Turns, barrels and airs. Turns are when the surfboard carves into the wave, barrels are when a surfer rides inside the curve or tube of a wave and exits without falling and airs are when a surfer rises above the top of the wave and lands back on their board.

So, if a surfer does their maneuvers in the steepest part of the wave, and combines turns, airs and barrel rides, they will score higher than an athlete who does several variations of the same maneuver, in a safer part of the wave.

Judges View With the world watching, the Olympic judges will be under pressure to make the right calls when it counts the most. - WSL / Tim Hain

With A Promising Forecast, Surfing's Olympic Debut Is Just Days Away

NEWCASTLE, AUS - APRIL 9: Kanoa Igarashi of Japan surfing in Heat 6 of Round 4 of the Rip Curl Newcastle Cup presented by Corona on April 9, 2021 in Newcastle, Australia.(Photo by Cait Miers/World Surf League via Getty Images)............... Kanoa Igarashi - WSL / Cait Miers

July 19, 2021 -- In a matter of days, surfers will walk in the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, for the first time, shoulder to shoulder with the world's greatest athletes. The journey to get here has been long and full of twists and turns, but over a century since Duke Kahanamoku -- Hawaiian icon and forefather of modern surfing -- won a gold medal for swimming in the 100-Meter Freestyle during the 1912 Games, surfing has arrived.

Forty surfers, 20 men and 20 women, from around the world will soon represent their countries and compete for Olympic gold. Every one of them has a story as to how they've arrived here and what it means for them to step onto the greatest stage in sport.

Detailing surfing's Olympic debut, over the next few weeks we'll be bringing you "The Shida Daily," a regular progress report from the Games. From breaking news, to social media updates, to the latest competition reports, don't miss a minute of the historic action as the eyes of the surfing world are now on Japan.

Forecast For Shidashita Beach Shaping Up

In preparing for competition at Shidashita Beach most surfers have approached things with the mindset that surf is going to be small. But that may not be the case. Surfline has released its first Olympic Forecast, a week out from the Opening Ceremony, which shows there is potential for some cyclone-fueled swell. Multiple models predict multiple tropical cyclones brewing in the Pacific with the potential for some quality conditions at some point during the event waiting period. We're still a week out from the event window, and nothing is certain, but there's a strong possibility we'll now see surfing make its debut on sport's biggest stage in solid, quality waves.

Surfers Are On The Ground

With the Opening Ceremony just a week away, WSL athletes have begun to arrive in Tokyo. Team USA is on the ground and has been warming up both in the ocean and in a wave pool. If there were any questions about Kolohe Andino's health, those can be put to rest. He's been looking razor-sharp in the ultra small conditions. Meanwhile, Carissa Moore has been blowing up in the freshwater. It may be too early to talk about medal favorites, but the Americans are already looking quite savvy.

France's Johanne Defay, Pauline Ado and Jeremy Flores have also touched down. And one of the potential stars of the Games, Japan's Kanoa Igarashi is also in-country and fired up to get going.

John John Florence Is Looking Strong For Team USA

There was a question mark over whether or not John John Florence would even be able to compete in the Olympics after having surgery on an injured knee nine weeks ago. After a mammoth recovery effort however, the two-time World Champion is looking strong, and affirming his commitment to go for Gold at Shida. In a nod to how big of an effort it required to get fit in such a short span of time, Florence's brother -- also a professional surfer -- posted: "Never seen you train so hard like you did in the last few months! Recovery was incredible! Olympics ready!"

Olympic Boards Are Dialed

Behind the scenes, surfboard shapers have been mowing a lot of foam to make sure the surfers are armed with superior equipment. Matt Biolos has been working extremely hard with Andino, Moore and Caroline Marks on their small-wave quivers. Fellow San Clemente shaper Timmy Patterson has also been dialing in the boards for Italo Ferreira, as well as a handful of other competitors. Most surfers will be bringing a combination of light epoxy small-wave models, as well as more trusted traditional equipment.

Considering there's every chance it might be larger than expected, we could see some last-minute calls to shapers to get some bigger boards headed to Tokyo, though many athletes would have packed a quiver that, while acknowledging it was likely to be small, could cater to a Typhoon swell if one happened to pop up.

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