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Tofino surf sisters make history in all-Canadian World Surf League final

Mathea Dempfle-Olin is the first Canadian woman to win WSL Qualifying Series event
Tofino surfers Mathea Dempfle-Olin, right, and Sanoa Dempfle-Olin placed first and second in an inaugural World Surf League all-Canadian final. (@runamuckphotography photo)

With a final round score of 14.17 points, Mathea Dempfle-Olin defeated her younger sister Sanoa Dempfle-Olin by only 1 point in a Feb. 26 final at the SLO CAL Open at Morro Bay, California.

The win makes Mathea, 20, the first woman in history to capture Canada’s inaugural women’s World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) event title.

“Definitely a day to remember! It’s been a goal of mine to make a QS final and win one for a while now, so I am beyond stoked to make that happen and take the win. There’s literally no one else I would rather surf a final with and I am so proud of my little sister Sanoa,” said Mathea Dempfle-Olin in a media release.

Mathea is no stranger to the international podium. In 2017, she made Canadian surfing history for winning Canada’s inaugural medals in international competition and in 2019, she won a bronze medal at the Pan Am Games.

The SLO CAL Open Final is the first time that either Dempfle-Olin sister has reached the final of a WSL event. En route to the final Mathea took down top-10 ranked surfer Ella McCaffray in the semi-finals.

In the 30-minute final, Mathea caught six waves, recording top scores of 8.00 and 6.17. Sanoa rode 10 waves, with best scores of 7.17 and 6.00.

“Being in the final with my sister was so special. Making it to the final was very exciting for me and having Mathea in it too was amazing! I am so proud of my sister for being the first Canadian woman to win a QS and I am so happy I got to share the final with her,” said her 17-year-old goofy-footed sister Sanoa.

Finishing first in the QS 1000 event earned Mathea 1000 points in the North American women’s QS, a critical step on the road to the top-tier WSL Championship Tour. With these 1000 points, Mathea climbed to a career-best 17th in the QS standings. As runner-up, Sanoa earned 850 points and entered the top-25.

Mom Dion said she couldn’t be happier to see her girls experience their first QS final as a team and do what they love.

“They’ve both worked so hard for this moment and as Sanoa mentioned, it’s a win for both. As far as Canadian surfing goes, they have inspired so many local (surfers) and fly under the radar on the world stage and I hope from this they’ll be able to start showcasing to the world how incredible they truly are and that living remotely on Vancouver Island with the support of a vibrant small town surf community and their inspiring lifestyle might prove their greatest advantage,” Dion said.

“Together they are a force of nature and I’m just their biggest fan,” she went on to note.

Executive director of Surf Canada Dom Domic said he has waited his whole life to witness an all-Canadian final.

“For this to happen at a professional World Surf League competition, in the USA, is so much more impactful and gets me even more emotional. This is not only a first Pro Finals for the Olin sisters, but there is no reason this isn’t a first of many. These Tofino homegrown sisters are just now coming into their own, where their self-belief at the most critical moments, will ensure many more peak competitive moments and podium results. Individually the Olins’ are gnarly competitors, but together, these sisters are a major Force, and they both want it. If the Surf World hasn’t noticed before, they have now,” said Domic.

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