Brazil continues to lead the way in men's surfing, while new stars have risen on the women's side as the United States and Australia continue to battle for supremacy. Meanwhile, several of the world's greatest surfers are taking a break from competition — some temporarily, another perhaps permanently.

Below are some of the biggest storylines from the world of surfing that will have an impact on the upcoming 2024 Olympic Games.

Men's surfing

Brazil has continued to dominate the scene in men's surfing, as the nation has now won every WSL (World Surf League) world title dating back to 2018. Gabriel Medina earned the 2021 title, the third of his career, while Filipe Toledo followed up with back-to-back titles, the first of his career, in 2022 and 2023.

In February, Toledo announced that he was withdrawing from the WSL Championship Tour for the rest of the season. He still plans to compete at this summer's Olympic Games and then return to the WSL in 2025.

"In the past, I have been honest about some of my challenges not only with injuries, but also with mental health," he said in an Instagram post. "Competing at the highest level for the past decade has taken a toll on me, and I need a break to recover for the next chapter of my career."

Joao Chianca joined Toledo in qualifying directly for Brazil's 2024 Olympic surfing team via last year's world rankings. By winning the team event at the 2024 World Surfing Games, Brazil also secured a third quota spot which is expected to go to Medina.

That means reigning Olympic champion Italo Ferreira, who finished fifth among Brazilians and 13th overall in last year's rankings, is set to miss the 2024 Games and will be unable to defend his gold medal.

First-time Olympians who could challenge the Brazilians for gold include Australia's Jack Robinson and the United States' Griffin Colapinto. Robinson, 26, won last year's WSL stop in Tahiti, where the Olympic competition for Paris 2024 will take place. Colapinto, 25, finished third in last season's world rankings and is the current leader after the first three events of the 2024 season.

Women's surfing

Led by reigning Olympic gold medalist Carissa Moore, the United States has remained one of the top nations in women's surfing.

Moore won her fifth world title in 2021, then finished as the WSL Championship Tour runner-up in both 2022 and 2023. While Moore, 31, is still at the top of her game, this summer's Olympic Games could be her final competitive appearance. Earlier this year, the native Hawaiian announced that she will have a limited competition schedule this season and will step away from competitive surfing after the Olympics. Moore plans to start a family afterward, though she left the door open for a return to competitive surfing in the future, possibly ahead of the 2028 Games in Los Angeles.

Even with Moore exiting the competitive scene, the future remains bright for the U.S. thanks to recent results from Caroline Marks and Caity Simmers. Marks, 22, won her first world title in 2023 and is also the defending champion of the Tahiti Pro. Simmers, 18, finished fourth in last year's WSL Championship Tour and was the runner-up to Marks in Tahiti.

Marks joined Moore in qualifying directly for the 2024 U.S. Olympic surfing team via last year's world rankings. Simmers will receive the country's third quota spot, which was earned by having the highest-ranked women's team at the 2022 World Surfing Games.

Aside from the United States, the other dominant country in women's surfing has historically been Australia, and this has continued to hold true. The top seven surfers in last year's world rankings were from those two nations.

Finishing in the top-five overall (and as the top two Australians), Tyler Wright and Molly Picklum earned the right to represent Australia at the Olympics for the first time. Picklum, 21, is a rising star who leads this year's world rankings after three events.

Absent from the Australian team will be surfing legend and Tokyo Olympian Stephanie Gilmore, who won a record-breaking eighth world title in 2022. Although the 36-year-old retained a narrow path to Olympic qualification — Australia could have earned a third Olympic spot by winning the team event at the World Surfing Games — she announced that she would be taking the entire 2024 season off, including the Olympics. Gilmore plans to return to competition in 2025.