Written by Theo Lewitt/Red Bull — When you think of your dream surf trip, chances are your mind jumps to aquamarine waters and reef passes peeling perfectly offshore from white sand beaches lined by vibrant green palms — something of that nature. For young Florida-born surfing phenom Caroline Marks, however, surf exploration takes on a more worldly, inclusive form. Say, a trip to Greece, for example. According to Marks, being a surfer from fickle Florida does miracles for keeping your expectations in check — “It has made me really appreciate when there is surf.”
As any traveling surfer knows, scoring waves is never guaranteed when abroad. If you’re used to scoring day in and day out at home, the thought of lugging a board bag around from airport to rental car to hotel and back without the promise of perfect waves can prove soul-crushing enough to deter the fainthearted. For surfers like Marks, though, the journey is worth a roll of the dice, especially when she’s headed to a locale with deep family ties surrounded by those she loves. Enter, Greece. Hit play above to join the Marks family on their Grecian surf exploration, check out ESM’s January issue for more perspective from Caroline herself, and keep reading to learn a bit more about the young goofy-footed talent from Melbourne Beach, Florida. Expect big things!
RedBull.com: Describe a day in the life of Caroline Marks. Who do you surf with most?
Wake up, eat, school, surf, eat, train, maybe surf again. I usually surf with my family! It tends to be one long super competitive heat.
Has anyone in particular been the most influential in your surfing career thus far?
My brothers, Luke and Zach, push me to be my best. I also really look up to both Mike Parsons and Lakey Peterson. They’re great humans!
What is your ideal trajectory as a surfer? Is the World Tour the ultimate goal?
I’d like to do another year or two of amateur surf events, then try and qualify. My goal is to win world titles.
What are you doing to prepare yourself to reach your goals? Training? Mentors?
I train and surf every day and stick to a really healthy, clean diet. Mike Parsons is also a huge help to me.
Who on tour would you most like to compete against? Who is your ideal travel squad for a busy contest year?
I’d be stoked to have any of WT ladies in a heat. My travel squad would definitely include Mike Parsons and my family.
Favorite event of the year? One that you hope to compete at in the future?
The US Open has been very special to me, but my dream wave would be Fiji.
Greece isn’t the most common destination for a surf trip, so why Greece?
For starters, my mom is Greek. My grandmother was raised in Greece, and she recently passed away so we planned a family trip to honor her. It was one of the best trips of my life.
What was most challenging about surfing in the Mediterranean? Describe the local surf scene. What was it like to be immersed in that culture?
Waves are very scarce in Greece so we had to travel a lot to get surf. Planes, ferries and lots of driving. The local surfers are super friendly and very welcoming. They are happy to see other surfers in the water. The Greek people are amazing! Very passionate, kind and loving people. Having my family and all my mom’s cousins, aunts and uncles around us was very special. They made the trip so easy!