Consistency has always been key to Carissa Moore's World Title campaigns, but in 2021 the Hawaiian was on a whole different level. With a win in Newcastle, a runner-up in Mexico and four Semifinal appearances - as well as a gold medal in surfing's Olympic debut - she was in a league of her own.
And now, as Moore stares down the possibility of winning her fifth World Title and inching closer to rival Stephanie Gilmore and icon Layne Beachley in the record books, she's on the verge of what may be the perfect season. Never before has a surfer won both the Title and a gold medal in the same year.
Looking to defend her 2019 Title, after becoming the first woman to qualify for the WSL Final 5, Moore explained that "there's still a lot of work to do."
But going into the Rip Curl WSL Finals at Lower Trestles, one has to love her chances at a wave she ranks as one of her favorite in the world.
"I love this wave -- it's my happy place," Moore said after winning the 2015 Swatch Women's Pro.
"It's always so special for me to be here because I grew up competing at Lower Trestles," she added.
When she was only 11 years old, Moore won her first U.S. national title at Lowers. Proving it was no fluke, she did again the next and eventually ended up rattle off nine National Scholastic Surfing Association titles throughout her record-breaking amateur career.
Seven years after showing up and blowing up on the cobblestones of Lowers, Moore was celebrating her first World Title.
"When I won my first title I didn't really know what it took to win, so I gave it everything I had," she remembers. "It turned into a roller coaster of emotions. I was all over the place."
Moore ended up winning three events in 2011 and never finished worse than third. It is worth noting that three of her four losses that season came at the hands of Gilmore and Sally Fitzgibbons - who she could potentially face at Lowers in a best-of-three showdown for the Title.
After that statement-making, break-out season, Moore rattled off three more Titles in 2013, 2015 and 2019. And in regards to her consistency, in 11 years on Tour she's only finished out of the top three in the world once, in 2017 when she finished fifth.
The CT women didn't get a crack at Lowers until 2014. Moore finished ninth that season with Gilmore taking the win. But as noted above, came back strong in 2015 and won the event.
In 2016, she lost to Gilmore in the Quarterfinals, which could be a preview of what's to come in this year. Gilmore ended up losing to Tyler Wright in the Finals of that event, but in taking first or second two out of the three years, she's basically owned Moore at Lowers.
The two surfers have far and away been the most dominant women on the CT over the last decade-plus. With 11 World Titles between them, to see them go toe to toe at pumping, six- to ten-foot Lowers with all kinds of history on the line is the kind of battle surf fans around the planet can bet behind.
Rip Curl WSL Finals runs from September 9-17, 2021 in San Clemente, California. A historic, one-day, winner-take-all race for the 2021 World Title, don't miss a second of the action right here on WorldSurfLeague.com.