Meet Caroline Marks, a 16-year-old Floridian who became the youngest surfer to qualify for the World Surf League Championship Tour.
She is currently the No. 5-ranked woman in the world and plans to compete at the next tour event in France in early October. Marks finished third at the Surf Ranch Pro event held in the Kelly-Slater-designed wave pool in Lemoore, Calif., last week.
She was 15 when she earned a spot in the WSL by finishing seventh in the World Qualifying Series last year. Although only the top six in the WQS automatically earn entry into the WSL, Marks also was given a spot on the tour because two women ranked ahead of her met other criteria for qualifying.
Two-time world champion Tyler Wright of Australia previously held the record for youngest to qualify for the WSL. She qualified at 16 and was a rookie at 17.
Marks has 12 heat wins this season with an average heat score of 12.29 this season. She finished third in the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing in early August.
Marks said she has found support from other women on the tour and in the attached video said she looks forward to competing for a world title.
The goofy footer from Melbourne Beach, Fla., now spends much of the year living in San Clemente. She is one of six children and developed a competitive mindset trying to keep up with her older brothers.