MELBOURNE BEACH, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Surf's up! A Melbourne Beach native has just been named a world champion. Her hometown is beaming with pride.
Caroline Marks is riding waves and making waves.
She’s the youngest surfer on the world tour. She's only 17 years old.
She got a trophy this weekend on Australia’s Gold Coast, but the Space Coast is her home.
“I’m so grateful, and it’s so amazing to be part of women surfing,” Caroline Marks told reporters in Australia after a stunning ride at the Boost Mobile International Tournament.
Ryan Caravello remembers Marks as she was learning the sport.
“Just watching her and her dad pushing her in waves in the inlet, she was small, maybe I’m guessing, 5 years old,” he said.
Caravello and the rest of the staff at Catalyst Surf Shop on Melbourne Beach say Caroline is not letting fame go to her head, but she certainly has reason to be proud.
When she was 15, she was the youngest ever to qualify for a big time surfing tour.
There’s even a sand sculpture of her at a Ron Jon's in Coca Beach.
“She is a very sweet kid, very humble. The entire family is like that,” Caravello said.
He says her surfing performance is remarkable because its so physical.
“She’s very powerful, very strong,” Caravello said.