Winning Look

Carissa Moore’s Pre-Competition Playlist Includes Kita Alexander & Billie Eilish

Plus, how she’s prepping her skin and mind for the 2024 Olympics.

by Samantha Leal
Winning Look

When it comes to work hard, play hard, surfer Carissa Moore has often worked harder. Which is why, following her 2024 Olympics journey, she’ll be focusing on her personal life a bit more by taking a break from competitive surfing. “There’s so much I’m looking forward to,” the 31-year-old Red Bull athlete says, noting that she’ll be expanding her charitable foundation Moore Aloha, which hosts events and creates mentorship opportunities for young women, alongside just hanging out with friends and family, traveling, and “surfing without a jersey on!”

But this break wouldn’t surprise those she’s closest with — Moore has always put a focus on balance. Preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was a testament to that. “One of my favorite surfing moments… winning gold at [Tokyo],” Moore says. “I prepped for many days in the water and gym, but also talking to my sports psychologist, meditating, eating well, and balancing it all with good rest.”

Here, we caught up with the Olympian right before the 2024 Paris Games — her last competition for a while — to talk all things sunscreen, care, and taking care of her mental health as a pro athlete.

Red Bull

What products do you wear on competition days?

My competition bag always contains Sun Bum SPF 50 or 70, and leave-in conditioner to take care of my post-surf hair.

Salt water is hard on hair — how do you keep yours in check and what's your hair routine?

I’m a simple gal. I use leave-in conditioner and try to take my time when brushing my hair, to avoid pulling and tugging on my roots. I also love giving myself a little scalp massage!

How often are you applying SPF when surfing?

I try to apply every hour and a half to two hours.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

I love listening to some good music. Kita Alexander, Billie Eilish, and Lily Meola are my favorites right now!

What makes you feel your best?

When I’m not competing or training, I love eating at my favorite restaurant Hale Vietnam in my hometown, Kaimuki [Hawaii].

Is there anything about competitive surfing that you wish more people understood or that most people don't know?

Learning the ocean takes years and years of experience. Surfing is one of the most challenging sports because of all the variables and unknowns of Mother Nature. I think a surfer’s ability to adapt to ever-changing situations is often under-appreciated.

How are you taking care of your mental health during this time?

I take to my sports psychologist once a week, I journal, and I make time to meditate daily. I’ve also been doing TMS (Transmagnetic Cranial Stimulation) with Brain Health Hawaii. Surrounding myself with good people has also really kept me in a good headspace leading up to the Olympics.

Is there anything you wish you could tell your younger self about today/where you are now?

I often doubted myself and stressed about things out of my control, and I still do. If I could tell my younger self something it would be: Trust in your timing! Be patient, work hard, and believe. It’s all working out and will fall into place beautifully.

How can others get into the sport?

Go for it! Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Fall down, get back up, fall down, and get back up. When you ride that wave all the way to the beach, it will be the most rewarding feeling. Most importantly, have fun.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.