Molly Picklum Wins Her First World Surf League Title

20-year-old surfer Molly Picklum stunned crowds with an impressive run at Sunset Beach, breaking through to the top of the world rankings to win her maiden World Surf League title.

She might be just 20-years-old, but surfer Molly Picklum is already carving a path of her own in the sport as she cements her name as one to watch. Taking to Sunset Beach in Hawaii, Picklum stunned crowds gathered on shorelines to deliver an impressive run, one that ultimately saw her win her maiden World Surf League title and the No.1 world ranking. 

To do so was no easy feat, and Picklum saw herself go up against the likes of two-time world champion Tyler Wright in the semis just to make her first final. There, she encountered American Caroline Marks who has continued to impress in every competition. But rather than let her nerves take over, Picklum took control from the start of the 35-minute final. 

Momentarily, Picklum lost the lead after Marks scored a 7.50 on her first wave to seize the lead. But with a series of small scoring waves, Picklum managed to gain momentum as she stole back the leading position. From there, she rode out the final minutes with few waves caught between the pair to help her seize the victory. In taking out the competition, Picklum joined fellow Aussie Jack Robinson at the top of the world rankings, as she is now equal world No.1 with Carissa Moore. 

Hailing from Shelly Beach on the NSW Central Coast, Picklum was all smiles after her win. While the towering waves Hawaii is known for can prove daunting for most, the young surfer expressed that the bigger breaks simply reminded her of home as she was able to use it to her advantage throughout the event. “I’m fortunate at home we get waves like this. I’m from Shelly Beach and we have big, open ocean water and it kind of feels like home out there,” said Picklum. “I feel like the rawness and challenging part of Sunset I enjoy, and while others are struggling I can give it a good crack.” 

While most sporting stars tend to stick to a well-regimented routine prior to any competition, Picklum told the Sydney Morning Herald that she broke hers before the event by sleeping in. “I took it pretty cruisy and didn’t do my usual psych up in the mirror,” she said. 

“I had my moment last night, a quiet little pep talk, a telling myself ‘it’s very achievable, let’s go and get it.’ I did that again before I left the house this morning but no, no mirror psyche-ups today.”

With such an iconic win under her belt, Picklum is already being hailed as Australia’s next big surfing star, a kind of label that can be an impossible burden for most to bear. Instead, Picklum is merely taking each day as it comes, putting in the work to get her to the level she wants to be – and knows she can achieve. 

“Looking back on being cut last year, it was tough for sure. But I’m so proud and so happy that I never got too down on myself either. I didn’t let it knock my confidence too much, I kept believing and I’m pretty proud of that,” said Picklum. 

“I’m proud of myself for just chipping away even though there’s so many setbacks, emotions and mind games in it all. Moments like these make it all worth it.”

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