It’s hard to choose just 10 surfers at the top of their game, but this list looks into the accomplishments these women have made and are aspiring to do.
Bethany Hamilton’s story was made famous by the 2011 movie, Soul Surfer. It gave fans of the sport and regular movie-goers an inside look about one girl’s obstacles she faced after a shark attack while surfing. Her career inspired many, but the list below is a look into the top women surfers around the world. Some were set to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic the event was pushed back until 2021. Others were just getting their start at the professional level.
Stephanie Gilmore was the first person in either the men’s or women’s category to win a World Title her rookie year. Gilmore, 32, grew up surfing in Coolangatta, but is originally from Kingscliff, New South Wales, Australia. Her career accomplishments include seven World Titles and is tied for most women’s World Titles in history with Layne Beachley. Gilmore was set to compete in the 2020 Olympics. According to the World Surfer League she is No. 4 in the preseason rankings.
Carissa Moore, who usually goes head to head with Gilmore, is from Honolulu, Hawaii and was No. 1 in the preseason rankings. The 28-year-old surfer has won four World Champions and 11 National Titles. Moore was also set to play in the 2020 Olympics.
Lakey Peterson grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and began competing at a young age. At 14, she was the first girl to pull an aerial maneuver during competition. Then, at 16, in her first CT event, she was runner up in the U.S. Open of Surfing. Peterson, 25, won the U.S. Open in 2012 which led to her award of Rookie of the Year. She didn’t qualify for the Olympics and has yet to win a World Title.
“Lakey’s fast-driving style and whip turns make her especially vicious in down the line pointbreaks like the ones she spent her formative years in,” the World Surfer League said.
Honolua Blomfield began surfing at the age of two. The 20-year-old is a multi-sport athlete and has just started her career. She finished No. 1 at the Women’s LT in 2019 and was the 2017 Women’s World Longboard Champion.
Sally Fitzgibbons, 29, is from Gerroa, New South Wales, Australia. She was the runner up in her second year on Tour and finished second in tournaments in 2011 and 2012. Fitzgibbons was ranked No. 5 at the CT in 2019 and has yet to win a World Title. She was set to compete in the 2020 Olympics, as well.
Silvana Lima, from Paracuru, Brazil, was ranked No. 12 at the CT in 2019. Throughout her career she has finished as a runner up twice in World Title and won eight National Championships in a row.
“Her surf style includes lots of air time, speed, and lightweight maneuvers,” the World Surf League said. “She’s had a few injuries, but keeps returning to compete adding fuel to the fire.”
Malia Manuel has yet to win a CT, but was the youngest surfer to win the U.S. Open of Surfing in 2008. From Wailua, Kauai, Hawaii, the 26-year-old ranked No. 9 at the Women’s CT in 2019.
Maya Gabeira, 33, from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is known as the “super woman of surfing.” Gabeira is one of the highest paid female surfers in the game. She’s most famous for breaking the Guinness World Record Wave in 2018 and was the first woman to charge Ghost Tree and Teahupoo.
Tatiana Weston-Webb was set to represent Brazil at the 2020 Olympics. The 24-year-old was the stunt double in the movie Soul Surfer when she was 11 and both of her parents were surfers, as well. From Priceville, Kauai, Hawaii she finished at No. at the World Championship and won back-to-back ISA World Junior Championships in 2013 and 2014.
Sage Erickson, from Ojai, CA, was ranked No. 3 at the Qualifying Series in 2019. Earlier in her career in 2016 she finished in the Top 10 after a handful of quarterfinal finishes and third at Trestles.