Ever looked at a skill so brilliant that it just blew your mind? Well, surfing veteran Carissa Moore’s picturesque stunts on the waves have had this identical impact on many. Specifically, two people whose connection with Moore goes way back. At the recently concluded edition of the Ballito Pro event in South Africa, Bella Kenworthy emerged as the victor in the women’s category, registering a classic win in the finals. But not many know that before becoming the incredible surfer she is today, Bella crossed paths with Moore as a child and was dazzled by her craft.

In fact, not just Bella, but so was her father Jason Kenworthy, whose encounter with Moore in 2007 altered his perspective on women’s surfing. But how did Moore meet the Kenworthy clan? And what is the dynamic today? Let’s go into the details.

Aquawoman Carissa Moore’s connection with Bella and Jason Kenworthy


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Taking to her Instagram on 8th July, Moore added Bella Kenworthy’s winning post to her story and penned a congratulatory note for her. As Bella flashed the brightest smile in the picture, with her surfboard in her hand and a flag on her back in the picture, Moore wrote, “Congratulations on the big win!! So proud of you.” In this moment of joy, Moore was happy to give Bella a well-deserved pat on her back with this message.

Polls of the day

Polls 1 of 4

How did Carissa Moore's influence shape Bella Kenworthy's surfing career?

Inspired her passion

Changed her technique

Boosted her confidence

Provided a role model

Do you think Nikki Hiltz's journey as a transgender non-binary athlete will inspire more inclusivity in sports?



Not really

No way

What do you think was the biggest factor in Sha'Carri Richardson's 2023 comeback?

Her resilience

Support from fans

Training and hard work

Proving doubters wrong

Do you think Joe Burrow should pursue his Olympics dream of playing flag football?


No way

Maybe, if he balances it with NFL

Not sure

And why not, as Moore has apparently played a special part in her and her dad’s journey. In 2007, Jason, a photographer, took photos of Moore for Surfer Magazine. Just 15 years old and on her first boat trip, Moore was still a prodigy.

In fact, in a YouTube video, Jason shows one of Moore’s surf shots from that trip. Mid-air on her board, unveiling her usual magic in the water, he refers to the image and states, “I was absolutely blown away by seeing this young girl and what she could do on the waves.”

He further mentions that watching Moore in her element changed his perspective about girls in surfing. “Quite frankly, it opened my mind,” he said, being completely transparent about how Moore’s next-level skills positively impacted him. It also seemed to have paved the path for some of his endeavors as he claims, “It kind of led to a chain events of all the things I’ve done with girls surfing to this point.” 

Admittedly, before the trip, Jason was unaware of the expanse of women’s surfing, or that it even existed. However, he was not the only one influenced by Moore’s abundant talent. Indeed, his daughters were equally bedazzled. And that trip to Indonesia sparked a new phase vis-à-vis his girls “loving to surf.”

Bella Kenworthy’s surfing love sparked by watching Moore?

Jason Kenworthy was never prepared that the trip where he photographed Moore would change their lives this way. But it was equally metamorphic for his girls, too. “I would have never really thought of them going down that road, until this trip,” he stated, which implies that surfing as a profession was perhaps not on the cards for his daughters. But it seems destiny has its own way.


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Jason says this event “sparked what turned into a big fire,” at least for him.

Moving ahead, he switches over to a photograph of Bella, a candid capture, whilst she’s pulling off a marvel on her surfboard. Jason describes how Bella is doing a “full-on rail gaff, throwing, displacing water” in the stunning shot and leads to draw a parallel.

He says, “That all started with that trip with Carissa.” Therefore, his own daughter is a perfect exemplar, and her photo of confidently piercing through the waves, displaying her finest skill, is an example of Moore’s influence on budding stars in the sport.


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It’s safe to say that Carissa Moore has blazed the trail in women’s surfing. What do you think of Moore’s legacy? Let us know in the comments.