Tom Carroll is best known as one of Australia’s greatest ever surfers and sportsmen. With two world professional surfing championships and three wins at Hawaii’s mega-challenging Pipeline under his belt, you’d be forgiven for thinking he’s just that: a champion athlete.
But unlike a lot of sporting lives, Tom’s is also that of a man who has lived well and continues to grow beyond his long list of achievements in the surf. At 54, he retains the cheeky twinkle of “grommethood”, and still spends way too much time in the water. Yet he has learned to balance that with developing the less obvious strengths arising from everyday stuff — parenthood, middle age, and the challenge of a body that doesn’t always do what he asks of it.
Tom has a relaxed and engaging way of sharing his experiences: as a kid falling for the wild elegance of the waves, as a pro surfer ripping and partying his way around the globe with a bunch of like minded maniacs in the days before social media, as a big wave charger hunting down unridden cold-water mountains, and as a man who fell into heavy drug use and almost tore it all to bits, before embracing sobriety and re-discovering his better self in the process.
Today he plays a role in a diverse range of businesses and surf-inspired charities, and manages a busy travel schedule while remaining an engaged father to his three daughters.