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How Pro Surfer Carissa Moore Stays Balanced On and Off the Waves


Moore stays balanced both on and off the board. (Photo courtesy of Target)


Written by Kristen Haney, editorial intern It’s no secret that surfers look great in a bikini, but balancing on the board isn't the only thing that keeps them in killer shape. To keep in top competition form, pro surfer Carissa Moore relies on a winning combo of hitting the gym with a personal trainer and relaxing with her family, and her work-life balance has definitely paid off. The laidback Hawaii native scored a Target sponsorship in 2009 after becoming the youngest surfer to win a Vans Triple Crown, was the first woman to grace the cover of Surfer magazine in 14 years, and is the top contender for the ASP Women’s World Tour Champion title this year after winning the U.S. Open with two events left. Oh, and did we mention she accomplished all this before turning 21? Before she jetted off to France and Portugal to compete, Moore spilled on Hawaii’s down-under equivalent, the workout equipment that even throws off her stability, and her surprisingly laid back plans for a milestone birthday.

How did you first get involved with surfing? I started when I was four or five years old, and it was actually my dad who got me into it. We still surf together almost every day, which is really cool.

It sounds like you’re very close with your family. How do you balance those relationships with your busy competition schedule? I just have a really good support team. Everyone around me makes time for me and they want to be there when they can, and I’m very fortunate that I can bring both my dad and my boyfriend on tour with me. It just keeps me really happy on the road. I have fun balancing it all.

What’s been your favorite place to visit? New Zealand is beautiful. If I had to live anyplace else it would probably be there because the people are really close to the type of people in Hawaii, where they’re just really warm and welcoming and easy to talk to.

How do you prepare for something like the U.S. Open? What  different workouts do you do on land? Of course, I think the best training for surfing is surfing, but I do have a personal trainer that I work with about three times a week when I’m at home. I do most of my training when I’m home, and then when I go on the road it’s more of just maintaining and being healthy, happy and surfing really well.

Want to ride the waves like Moore? Try plyometrics and stability exercises. (Photo courtesy of Target)


Anything you do to work specific areas or any favorite exercises? For the smaller waves you really have to be light and fast, so my trainer and I do a lot of plyometrics and cardio. We also work on stability. We do a lot of fun stuff with the TRX, and we do squats and kettlebell swings on the Bosu ball so that you’re working lots of different things in your body at the same time because when you’re surfing there are so many different muscle groups working. She actually has this really long pipe with water in it, and she makes me do squats with that to throw me off and work on stability. It’s actually really, really hard.

If you’re competing and you don’t have the kind of performance that you were hoping for, what do you do to shake it off and improve for the next time? You know, I’m still learning how to do that. In the past I have really dwelled on my losses and worked myself up over it, but I think last year was a really good transition year for me. I didn’t win a single event, and I really had to learn how to deal with losing and learning that it’s not the end of the world. If I did keep beating myself up over it I wasn’t going to be happy, and I think I’d burn out really quickly. I do still cry and get myself worked up over it, but it’s not the end of the world. There’s so much more to life than a contest, and looking at the bigger picture really helps.

You're turning 21! Any big plans for the milestone birthday? Oh my gosh, I know, I can’t believe I’m turning 21! Its kind of crazy but no, I don’t have too many big plans. All I want is to have a big family dinner and have my mom and my dad together. It’s been a while since my mom and dad have sat down for a meal together because they got divorced when I was ten, so all I want for my birthday is for everyone to get together and have a nice meal.

I mean, they kind of have to do it, it’s your birthday and it’s a big one. Right? Right? That’s what I was thinking.

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