Article

Hot 100 Women: 1-10

The definitive ranking of the world's best young surfers

| posted on June 01, 2011

Carissa Moore. Photo: Kenworthy

1. Carissa Moore
August 27, 1992 // Honolulu, Hawaii

In her first year on the ASP Women’s World Tour, Carissa effectively quieted any lingering skeptics when she took home two World Tour event wins in 2010—making her the only rookie to defeat World Champ Steph Gilmore last year. Carissa finished the season ranked third overall, despite missing an event in Peru to attend her high school graduation. Carissa’s track record speaks for itself: a SURFER cover (achieved by one other female surfer, Lisa Anderson, in the last 40 years), 11 NSSA National Championship titles, three World Tour event wins (one as a wildcard), a perfect 10 in a Men’s WQS event, the record for being the youngest-ever Vans Triple Crown of Surfing event champion, and a win at the 2010 U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, which boasted the biggest prize purse in women’s surfing history. Combining her expertise in a jersey with her ability to continually push the level of progression for women’s surfing, as well as her loveable personality and the backing of Nike, Red Bull, and Target, there’s little doubt Carissa will make her mark as one of the greatest female surfers of all time.

2. Bethany Hamilton
February 8, 1990 // Princeville, Hawaii

While Bethany may not have the competitive accolades of the rest of the Hot 100 Top 10, Bethany is arguably one of the most famous surfers in the world—male or female. The tragedy of her 2003 shark attack and her awe-inspiring return to the top of the sport has garnered her the respect and adoration of surfers and mainstream audiences worldwide. With a series of books and products bearing her name as well as the upcoming release of a Hollywood film recounting her story, its safe to say we’ve only begun to see the long-lasting impact of Bethany Hamilton. Though she’s recently focused her attention to pursuits outside the jersey, she’s proven that she can hold her own against the best, and if she could find the time and determination to devote herself to competition, a spot among the ASP World Tour ranks is not outside the realm of possibility.

Sally Fitzgibbons. Photo: Ellis

3. Sally Fitzgibbons
May 8, 1990 // Gerroa, Australia

Though a World Tour event win eluded her in 2010, Sally finished the season ranked second overall, the highest of the 2010 rookies. After devoting herself to the WQS in 2008—a year in which she absolutely obliterated the competition, accumulating enough points within the first five events to take the overall WQS title halfway through the season—she went on to join the World Tour in 2009 and finish off her rookie year in the Top 5. Incredibly smooth, powerful, and possessing a full bag of tricks, Sally continues to challenge Steph in a jersey and will no doubt be a title contender for years to come. She’ll need to work on upping her global exposure though if she wants to make the same impact in the States as her American counterparts.

4. Coco Ho
April 28, 1991 // Sunset Beach, Hawaii

After qualifying for the ASP World Tour in 2009 and finishing her rookie year ranked No. 4, Coco Ho made a solid run in 2010, with a third at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast and a second at the O’neill World Cup of Surfing at Sunset. She also qualified for the Women’s Triple Crown finale— the Duel for the Jewel—and finished off the year ranked seventh overall. Coco’s exciting, fins-free approach is matched by her lively personality and style both in and out of the water. Coco has the ability to be a future world-title contender.

5. Alana Blanchard
March 5, 1990 // Princeville, Hawaii

After falling off Tour at the end of the 2009 season, Alana spent 2010 quietly gaining rating’s points on the WQS in order to make her World Tour comeback in 2011. As the final leg of the Tour reached Hawaii, she pulled out a Finals finish at the Cholos Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa and qualified for the Women’s Triple Crown specialty event, The Duel for the Jewel, bumping her up to No. 8 on World Rankings and awarding her the final spot on Tour. Undoubtedly, Alana’s good looks have garnered her more attention than her ability, but don’t let them fool you—she’s every bit as impressive in the water as she is in a bikini.

6. Tyler Wright
March 31, 1994 // Culburra Beach, Australia

Tyler’s history-making ASP World Tour event win in 2008 as a 14-year-old wildcard was merely a forewarning of the big things to come from this freak talent. In 2010, she backed that up with a wins at the ISA World Junior Championships in New Zealand, the ASP Oakley World Junior Championship in Bali, and the ASP World Tour event at Sunset Beach as a wildcard, defeating Coco Ho, reigning four-time World Champ Steph Gilmore, and 2010 ASP No. 2 Sally Fitzgibbons in the final. She went on to place second at the Duel for the Jewel Triple Crown event at Pipeline to take home the 2010 Vans Triple Crown Rookie of the Year award. She finished the year ranked third on the ASP World Ranking, and is the youngest-ever woman to qualify for the elite level. As the younger sister of Hot 100 No. 1 and 2010 ASP Rookie of the Year Owen Wright, Tyler’s been hardwired to dominate competition. Many claim she’s the only surfer on the Women’s Tour with a chance of ending Steph’s Tour domination.

Laura Enever. Photo: Kenworthy

7. Laura Enever
November 14, 1991 // North Narrabeen, Australia

Laura Enever demands attention. On first glance, you’d have little reason to believe this attractive, diminutive firecracker would be very impressive on a surfboard, but looks can be deceiving. Laura charges, possesses a huge repertoire of aerial tricks, and can hold her own in heats against the best. In 2010, she won the Billabong Women’s Azores Islands Pro 6-Star, finished second overall on the ASP Women’s World Ranking, and earned her spot on the 2011 ASP Women’s World Tour. A former ISA Junior World Champion and Triple Crown Rookie of the Year, Laura’s accustomed to setting herself apart, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone when she makes her mark in 2011.

Courtney Conlogue. Photo: Maassen

8. Courtney Conlogue
August 15, 1992 // Santa Ana, California

Courtney possesses a competitive drive and physical aptitude unlike any other young female surfer. In 2010, she won the ASP 6-Star event in Spain and placed second at the Azores Islands Women’s Pro Prime event, earning her the fourth position overall on the World Rankings and a seat on the 2011 World Tour. Courtney knows how to win heats, but the greats in women’s surfing aren’t always decided by who’s on the top of the podium. She’ll need to show the world she’s more that just a competitive machine this year as she transitions from high school athletic star to full-time World Tour competitor.

Lakey Peterson. Photo: Kenworthy

9. Lakey Peterson
September 30, 1994 // Santa Barbara, CA

Lakey Peterson’s impressive performance at NSSA Nationals in 2009 set her career in motion, garnering her sponsorship deals, a spot on the USA Surf Team, and most recently, inclusion in Nike 6.0’s all-girls movie due out this spring. At only 16-years old, Lakey has yet to devote herself full-time to competition, but her semifinal finish against the best surfers in the world at the U.S. Open in Huntington suggests that she certainly has the potential to succeed. As she continues to push the realm of possibility for female aerial surfing, and develop her competitive game, Lakey will be one to keep an eye on in the near future.

Malia Manuel. Photo: Kenworthy

10. Malia Manuel
August 9, 1993 // Wailua, Hawaii

After stellar years in 2008 and 2009 in which she had back-to-back podium finishes at the U.S. Open in Huntington—the first at just 15 years old—Malia let competition take a backseat in 2010 in order to focus her energy on her final year of high school. She earned the wildcard slot World Tour event at Sunset in 2010, however, and proved that she’s still got it, making it to the semifinals in a stacked field. Malia definitely has the ability, style, and skill level to make it to the very top of the sport, and as she shifts gears beyond this transitional year and into full-time competition, it’s highly likely this innovative young talent will follow the path of her fellow Kauaians and make a mark on the international scene.

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  • Phil McCracken

    Alana Blanchard 5th? This rating has nothing to do with physical appearance, right? She shouldn’t even be in the top 20.

  • Rite ons Carissa

    Glad Carissa won…she’s real humble too. Her dad kinda used to piss everyone off tho at Kaiser’s and Rockpiles and despite her AMAZING talent, I hope not many more parents do the same with their child and block most every good wave for their children in the hopes of them getting better. Either way, she would’ve gotten this good on her own without him being selfish amongst the crowd and again…I’m really glad she won…and that she is humble.