Surfer Carissa Moore is ready to rip in her Olympic finale. The five-time world champion and reigning Olympic gold medalist is part of a strong U.S. women's surfing team and remains one of the favorites for this year's Games. Before she goes for a follow-up win and takes a competitive surfing break, Moore’s biggest challenger will be the waves. 

Learn more about the Tahiti-bound surfing legend.

How old is Carissa Moore?

Carissa Moore is 31 years old. Her birthday is August 27, 1992. 

Where is Carissa Moore from?

Carissa Moore is from Honolulu, Hawaii, and has said she feels very connected to her Hawaiian heritage. This year, she released her book “Hawaii Gold: A Celebration of Surfing,” a tribute to Hawaii, its surfers and culture. 

“I think that that's what makes surfing so special, is that it's joyful and it's fun, and I hope that it never loses that, and I hope you try it and can feel it,” Moore told NBC Olympics. 

Where did Carissa Moore go to school?

Carissa Moore went to Punahou High in Honolulu, the same school former President Barack Obama attended.

When did Carissa Moore start surfing?

Carissa Moore started surfing off the beaches of Waikiki with her father, Chris, at just 5 years old. She won her first world title in 2011 at age 18, making her the youngest surfer to ever win the award. 

“I started surfing all thanks to my dad. He was an avid waterman and rough water swimmer, and so he just had a love and passion for the ocean, and he wanted to share that with me,” Moore told NBC Olympics. 

What Olympics has Carissa Moore surfed in?

Carissa Moore won the U.S.’s first gold medal in surfing at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. She beat South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag in the final and Japan’s Amuro Tsuzuki in the semifinal. The first Olympic surfing event was held at Tsurigasaki Beach in Japan. 

Who is Carissa Moore’s husband?

Carissa Moore is married to her high school sweetheart Luke Untermann. The pair got married in 2017 and have two dogs, Tuffy and Maya. 

Is Carissa Moore retiring from surfing?

Carissa Moore announced in January that she would be stepping away from competitive surfing after the Paris Olympics to start a family. She has said she could return to surfing competitively ahead of the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics though. 

Carissa Moore: In her own words

Carissa Moore on winning Olympic gold:

“After I won my gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, it was a huge celebration. I didn't expect to be welcomed home with so much love and aloha. I remember driving home and the whole neighborhood had put up, like, signs and balloons, and I guess I just didn't realize that impact that the Olympics would have.”

Carissa Moore on competing in Tahiti:

"Tahiti is a beautiful place and the people there are just absolutely extraordinary. It reminds me a lot of home; they have quite the aloha spirit there. It' s a small community at the end of the road — there aren't any big hotels or buildings. Usually when we go and compete there, we're staying with families. I believe the USA surf team will be staying with my favorite host family there [during the Olympics], so I'm really excited."

Carissa Moore on the waves in Tahiti:

“This wave in particular, Tahiti, is just really intimidating, and there's a really shallow reef and really big barrels, and it's something that I don't necessarily feel super comfortable with. But spending time there and slowly chipping away at that fear to get more comfortable really helps me so that one day it's not so scary.”

Carissa Moore on growing up in Hawaii:

“Growing up in Honolulu brings a smile to my face. I have a lot of fond memories of my childhood. I was surrounded by family and friends, the beach, just playing with my little sister and going surfing with my dad. Good food. Really good food and sunshine.”

Carissa Moore on mental health:

“I feel like the mental part of the game is almost more important than the physical part of the game because your mind controls your body, and if you're anxious and worrying, your body is going to freeze up and not do what you've trained it to do. And so, I do work with a sports psychologist. I journal almost daily. I try to meditate. I enjoy yoga, just surrounding myself with good people so that I can talk through all of those feelings, so I can be as free and happy as possible when I hit the water. That's the goal.”

One of my favorite things about surfing is the freedom and the sense of presence. When you're in the water and you're riding a wave, I think the rest of the world disappears.

Carrisa Moore on marriage:

“The best part of married life is he's stuck with me. No, honestly, I couldn't imagine not being married. I absolutely love it. It's really comforting. I feel very fortunate to say that marriage has been quite effortless, and it's always a lot of fun. And that's my favorite thing about him, he's little-kid-Luke, because he's always looking to have the most fun as possible every day.”

Carissa Moore on why she loves to surf:

“One of my favorite things about surfing is the freedom and the sense of presence. When you're in the water and you're riding a wave, I think the rest of the world disappears. And if you are distracted, Mother Nature will quickly bring you back to the present.”