We can all pretty much rank the top male surfers. On the must list include Kelly Slater, Laird Hamilton, Rob Machado, the late Andy Irons, Taj Burrow, Mick Fanning, and we can now add recent Bells winner, Joel Parkinson. But what about the gals?
Here’s our list of who we think should be considered the Top 5 Female Surfers in the world:
1. Layne Beachley (AUS)
No list of top female surfers would be complete without this icon’s name. Born May 24, 1972, this Australian icon is the most “winning-est” professional female surfer of all time. Seven-time ASP Women’s World Champion, 29 World Tour victories, 20 years on tour. But, Layne retired in October 2008, so we’ll have to see what the new crop of surfer girls can do!
2. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
The most recent winner of the Pro Bells Tour, Sally is the fastest ever qualifier for the ASP World Tour; in fact, she is one of the fastest distance runners Australia has ever seen! Born December 19, 1990, Fitzgibbons now sits at ASP Women’s World No. 2 with the Pro Bells Tour win. Sponsors include ROXY, DHD, FCS, Enties shoes, Smith optics, Gorilla Grip, and Sexwax.
3. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
Known as “Happy” for her infectious smile, Stephanie is a four-time world champion on the Women’s ASP World Tour (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010). Born January 29, 1988, Gilmore was the youngest-ever inductee into the Surfers’ Hall of Fame at age 22. She has already captured U.S. Open of Surfing and Vans Triple Crown titles, and awarded the prestigious Laureus World Sports award.
4. Carissa Moore (HAW)
Born August 27, 1992, 18-year old Carissa is currently ranked the #1 ASP Women’s World surfer, although she recently placed second to Sally Fitzgibbons in the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach. She’s known for her unprecedented 11 NSSA National Titles. She has also won two major ASP Star events (formerly known as WQS), the Reef Hawaiian Pro in Haleiwa in 2008 and the US Open of Surfing in 2010 where she won the richest prize purse in women’s surfing history, $50,000.
5. Sofia Mulanovich (PER)
Born June 24, 1983 in Punta Hermosa, Lima, Peru, Sofia was the first Peruvian surfer ever to win an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Championship Tour (WCT) event. In 2004, she became the first South American (man or woman) to ever win the world title. Sofia has also won the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, U.S. Open of Surfing and the Surfer Poll (2004 and 2005).
So, those are our top 5. Do you agree? The next stop on the 2011 ASP Women’s World Title season will be the Subaru Pro TSB Bank Women’s Surf Festival in Taranaki, New Zealand from April 27 – May 1, 2011. With Gilmore, Fitzgibbons, Mulanovich and Moore part of the elite 17, the #1 spot is still in contention.