After seeing so much of Caroline Marks tearing it up all along the California coastline (and especially at Lower Trestles) it can be hard to remember that she didn’t grow up living the wonder-grom lifestyle in San Clemente, Calif. She was actually a horseback rider from Florida. Caroline didn’t even pick up a surfboard until she was 11 years old. It goes without saying that she didn’t let her late start slow her down, qualifying for the Championship Tour at 15 (the youngest ever to do so), and qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team at 17.
That’s Caroline is a new short film from Red Bull that gives us all a closer look into the oft-forgotten backstory of how Caroline came to be the competitive surfing miracle and World Number 2 that she is today.
The main driving force behind Caroline’s historic leap to the top of competitive surfing wasn’t her all-in love of surfing or her radiantly positive energy, (although I’m sure those didn’t hurt). It was her family. “I just really, really wanted to impress my brothers and I really wanted them to think that I was cool and accept me,” says Caroline in an interview with Red Bull. “They thought surfing was the coolest thing ever, so I was like, ‘Well, I have to be really good at something that they think is cool.’”
I think we can all agree that she’s achieved that goal. Check out That’s Caroline above, and make sure to tune into the Narrabeen Classic starting April 16. Caroline will be competing after an even third at Newcastle.She was ousted in the semis by eventual winner Carissa Moore – no shame in that.