Caroline Marks and Filipe Toledo clinched the 2023 World Surf League World Titles at the Rip Curl WSL Finals held in solid four-to-six foot conditions. Carissa Moore and Ethan Ewing secured runner-up positions after battling through tough competition.
Marks, at 21 years old, entered the Rip Curl WSL Finals as the No. 3 seed and emerged as the 2023 Surfing World Champion, becoming the first person from mainland USA to achieve this since 1997. She also marked history as the first women’s goofy-footed surfer to claim a World Title since 2005. Marks showcased her exceptional skills throughout the event, securing multiple excellent scores and solidifying her qualification for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
Marks’ backhand attack was impressive from her debut in Match 2 to the Title Match against Carissa Moore. She dominated Title Match 1, earning an excellent 8.67 and pushing Moore into a tough situation. Moore managed to break the combination but couldn’t catch up, as Marks extended her lead with an 8.43.
In Title Match 2, Marks initially had a slow start but later unleashed critical maneuvers, scoring a 7.00 and an impressive 7.60, securing her maiden World Title. Moore was left chasing a score as time ran out.
Filipe Toledo, at 28, secured his second-consecutive World Title, becoming the first to achieve back-to-back victories since 2016 and 2017. Toledo, the No. 1 seed, dominated the 2023 CT season with wins at Sunset Beach, El Salvador, and J-Bay.
Toledo and Ethan Ewing delivered an outstanding performance during the men’s Title Match 1, with Toledo earning a slight lead with a 7.33 to Ewing’s 7.00. Toledo’s near-perfect 9.00 and Ewing’s 8.50 showcased fireworks, but Toledo ultimately defeated Ewing with an 8.97 to Ewing’s 8.73.
In their second Title Match, Toledo maintained a busy pace, accumulating a 12.57 heat total before Ewing had a chance to respond. Ewing’s 7.67 kept his hopes alive, but Toledo secured his second World Title as time ran out.
Ewing’s runner-up finish marked his career-best result, overcoming adversity with a back injury earlier in the season. His impressive performance at the Rip Curl WSL Finals was a testament to his determination and skill.
Toledo expressed his gratitude for his team, family, and supporters, acknowledging the sacrifices he made to achieve his dream of winning back-to-back World Titles. The crowd celebrated Toledo’s historic victory, solidifying his place in surfing history.