Caroline Marks is the youngest surfer ever to qualify for the women’s Championship Tour, and also has provisionally qualified to represent the USA at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games.
She honed her explosive attack in Melbourne Beach, Florida, while trying hard to keep up with her encouraging, but typically scornful, older brothers. They pushed her to surf harder, faster, stronger, and as tough as it was at times, she credits them for her grittiness, determination and the diversity of her repertoire.
Raised in free-range fashion by parents who wanted their tribe of six kids to play outside, Marks, the middle child, thrived. Their big backyard had a moto track, halfpipe, and a surf break right across the street. But when her older brother launched a successful social network specifically designed for kids, the family moved to California to scale it.
She became a regular in the San Clemente lineups near her new home. Immersed in a bigger pool of talent, she progressed at a faster clip, notching national NSSA titles in the girls and women’s divisions, two Vans US Open Pro Junior titles and the ISA World Title before setting out on the Qualifying Series in 2017.
Because of her age, she’ll be traveling the tour with one of her parents always in tow, and strategically guided by her longtime coach Mike Parsons, a former Tour pro.
Marks may be young, but she’s intelligent, witty, and confident. In 2018, her first year on the Championship Tour, she won the Rookie of The Year award and finished the year ranked No.7 in the world. In her second, the ascent continued when she won two CT events on the Gold Coast and in Portugal was in the World Title mix all the way to the final event in Maui. She eventually finished runner-up to Carissa Moore, but her second-place finish meant she provisionally qualified to surf for Team USA at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games. And all this before she had turned 18.
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