Carissa Moore, the world’s top female surfer, will not compete on the top-level World Surf League Championship Tour in 2020, but she will still participate in her sport’s Olympic debut in Tokyo.
Moore, a 27-year-old Hawaiian, said she decided in the middle of the 2018 season to take a break in 2020, after a decade on tour.
“This is just a press refresh and, hopefully, I can come back stronger in 2021,” Moore said on the World Surf League “The Lineup” podcast. “It’s a bit bold. It’s a bit scary.”
Moore made the announcement less than three weeks after winning a fourth world title — and her first since 2015 — accumulating results on the 10-stop tour that runs from March to December across six continents.
Moore made the semifinals of the last seven contests to pull away from countrywomen Caroline Marks and Lakey Peterson in the world title race. Moore and Marks took the two U.S. spots in the Tokyo Games.
But 2018 was the real game-changing year for Moore. She failed to make the semifinals of the first six contests for the second straight season. That’s when Moore chose to go all-in for the next year and a half before a pause.
“This decision isn’t like, the end,” she said. “I can see myself doing it [surfing competitively] for a good amount of time into my 30s.”
Moore said she will pursue a film project in 2020, travel and spend more time with her husband.
“This next year doesn’t look like sitting out on the couch and eating potato chips,” she said. “I can comfortably sit back and say, OK, I really do deserve it.”
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