Carissa Moore and Gabriel Medina Are Your 2021 World Champions Of Surfing - Stab Mag
5117 Views
Is anyone surprised? Photo: Jimmy Wilson

Carissa Moore and Gabriel Medina Are Your 2021 World Champions Of Surfing

As it should be.

Words by Stab

The WSL Finals, an event we passionately debated for the past 12 months, has culminated with the regular season leaders, Gabriel Medina and Carissa Moore, winning well-deserved World Titles.

This is Gabriel’s third Title and Carissa’s fifth.

The 2021 Championship Tour saw the completion of eight total events over the course of 10 months. After a lengthy break from competition in 2020, both Gabriel and Carissa got off to incredibly hot starts. Once they took hold of those yellow jerseys (after the second event of the season), they never looked back.

It would have been a crime for Medina to lose this year. Photo: Jimmy Wilson

Gabriel’s Year

Gabriel’s 2021 season was as cutthroat and definitive of a world title campaign as we’ve seen. Were it not for the new WSL Finals format, he would have won the thing weeks ago.

After starting off the year with two seconds at Pipeline and Newcastle, Gabriel took the win at Narrabeen. He followed this with his worst result of the year — a 9th at the one CT stop that could be described as his Achilles heel: Margaret River. Gabriel immediately hopped back on the horse, taking the win at Rottnest Island and never finishing below the Quarters for the rest of the year.

In the events that Gabriel did lose, he put on nothing less than dynamic, must-watch performances on a daily basis, most notably with his space-age full rotation in Newcastle, his Gorkin Flip* in Mexico, and his completion of the second backflip ever landed in competition today, as he sealed the win against Filipe Toledo.

This was taken before Carissa won — imagine how big that smile is now. Photo: Jimmy Wilson

Carissa’s Year

Starting out the year with the first women’s event at Pipeline, Carissa lost to an impassioned and in-form Tyler Wright. After a two-week Australian quarantine, Carissa jumped right back on her thoroughly stickered Mayhem pony and took the win in Newcastle doing what was (at the time) considered the best air ever completed by a woman, jersey or not. While Carissa didn’t win another event outright (until today), she never finished below the semis for the remainder of the year. In any other year, if your throw-away score is a third, you’re all but guaranteed to win the World Title.

It should be noted that even with only two event wins, Carissa Moore likely just completed the winningest year in women’s surf history with her Olympic gold medal and fifth World Title.

Over the course of one day and 11 heats (six on the women’s side, five on the men’s), Gabriel and Carissa made an incredibly convincing case for surfing’s new ‘Superbowl’. With plenty of dramatic moments littered throughout, one thing is for certain: this format pushed the number seeds to perform their best with their backs against the wall.

As Kelly Slater mentioned multiple times in reference to the top seeds, “It’s theirs to lose…”

And lose they did not.

You can read our full report from the event here.

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

“He Looks Like The Only Guy With A Spoon At A Soup Party”

We had a writer from outside surfing watch and review her first contest: the WSL…

Sep 19, 2021

Is Gabby Giving The 2022 CT A Miss?

The 3x World Champ is thinking about a gap year.

Sep 19, 2021

3:05

Watch: “If I was Goofy” With John John Florence

Haleiwa becomes a divine left.

Sep 18, 2021

A Critical View Of The WSL Finals’ Key Moments

Images and observations from the beach at Lowers.

Sep 18, 2021

3:00

Which Four Boards Would You Keep From Mason Ho’s Electric Acid Quiver?

Choosing from an assortment of contours, outlines, and colors.

Sep 17, 2021

Stab Podcast: An Event We Passionately Debated For The Past 12 Months

Feedback from the WSL Finals, slaps of justice, and a Russian SUP parade.

Sep 17, 2021

5:59

Joyride Board Test: The LSD Hammer

Amateur surfer rides Noa Deane's prized step-up at Kirra and The Box.

Sep 17, 2021

20:40

Red Bull No Contest, Mexico: A Surfer’s Guide To Scoring Like A Local In Southern Mexico

Inside Barra de la Cruz culture with Mateus Herdy and Rio Waida.

Sep 16, 2021

Fourteen World Titles Worth Of Wisdom, Unpacked

What we learned from listening closely to Mick and Kelly during the WSL Finals.

Sep 16, 2021

5:03

Watch: Jack Robinson Wastes No Parts Of The Buffalo

Five minutes from Western Australia's finest.

Sep 16, 2021

The Connection Between Growing Up Poor And Going On To Win World Titles

“The wealthier a town gets, the fewer really good surfers you’ll find in the water.”

Sep 15, 2021

WSL Finals Review: “I Don’t Condone (Most) Crimes, But A Helicopter And A Giant Magnet Would Make For One Incredible Heist”

Lowers was an absolute shit-show yesterday. A report from the ground.

Sep 15, 2021

Filipe Toledo May Or May Not Be The Ultimate Surfer

Episode 7 is a wrap, find out who's advancing to tomorrow's finale.

Sep 15, 2021

10 Questions With S.U.R.F. Winner Jake ‘Money Making Machine’ Vincent

How did Vinny blow his 10 G’s?

Sep 15, 2021

Carissa Moore and Gabriel Medina Are Your 2021 World Champions Of Surfing

As it should be.

Sep 14, 2021

A King Amongst Medinas: Inside Gabriel’s World Title Winning 2021

How a former South Sydney demolition man helped mastermind Gabriel Medina's Title campaign.

Sep 14, 2021

2021 WSL Finals: Live Coverage And Updates

Leave the best comment, win a free surfboard.

Sep 14, 2021

The Best WSL Event You Never Heard Of

No electricity. No running water. No wifi and no pins dropped. The Namakwa Challenge was…

Sep 14, 2021
Advertisement