Carissa Moore will leave competitive surfing after going for a repeat Olympic gold medal this summer and wants to start a family, a plan that has been in the works for over a year.

“All those wins, the competitive part that’s so much of my identity, I’m taking that away, and I’m facing myself this year,” Moore, 31, said, according to The New York Times. “And that’s scary. Like, who am I? Am I going to be OK? Will I be able to love myself and think that I’m worthy without this?

“I’m excited to see what else there is, outside the jersey.”

Moore’s agent confirmed Friday that she will have an abbreviated competition schedule this season, starting with the first World Surf League contest at Banzai Pipeline in her native Hawaii in late January and early February.

Moore will then be part of the Olympic surfing competition, which will be held in Tahiti, which also hosts a WSL contest in May.

Moore is leaving the door open to returning to competitive surfing as a mom in future years and possibly bidding for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

“I don’t like the word retirement,” she said, according to the Times. “I like to say a departure from the tour, or just stepping back, or switching gears, or, like, evolving.”

Moore already qualified for the Paris Games via her 2023 WSL results. She ranked second in the season standings behind countrywoman Caroline Marks.

They’re joined on the U.S. Olympic team by Caity Simmers, who was fourth in the WSL standings.

Moore is a five-time world champion dating to her first crown in 2011, when she was 19 years old. Surfing made its Olympic debut in Tokyo.

“I felt really, really content, really satisfied with everything I achieved, and I was starting to ask the questions: What more do I want? What more do I need here?” she said, according to the Times. “I’ve kind of exceeded my expectations. When I was a little girl, I really only dreamed of that first world title. I didn’t dream about five or being in the Olympics, you know? So it’s actually been a bit harder for me to find the motivation to keep going the last couple of years.”

By Duke Ogden

Duke Ogden, a name synonymous with both the thrill of the surf and the art of storytelling, is a distinguished surfer and the esteemed editor behind the renowned Surfing.LA website. A dedicated waterman since his early days, Duke's passion for surfing ignited on the sun-drenched shores of Southern California.

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