TC Tom Carroll – pro surfer

TC : Tom Carroll  by Nick Carroll.

Post by Julie from Southport Branch Library.

tom carrollTom Carroll has been an amazing surfer since his teens. He has won numerous surfing titles including twice being World Champion. He was the first pro surfer to earn a million dollars. This book  written mainly from Tom’s viewpoint, but with regular accounts & insights from his journalist brother Nick, is an interesting tome. It traces Tom’s life from his childhood and first attempts at surfing on a Coolite board to his current surfing escapades. Tom has conquered all types of waves, surfing conditions and surf breaks across the world. Some of his surfing has been completely crazy and potentially life threatening. As with many very successful people, there is a dark side to Tom’s life. Tom battled a drug addiction for years, a fact he successfully kept hidden from the public. This account reminded me of the autobiographies of Keith Richard and Eric Clapton. All three men are highly successful in their chosen field but have all been hopelessly addicted to drugs or alcohol during their lives. It makes me wonder if having an addictive nature where you are able to obsessively focus on one thing, whether it be music or sport, allows you to reach great heights? Or if it’s the fruits of these achievements that drives them to addiction? I lean towards the former. Tom certainly possessed the addictive nature required to achieve world surfing domination. The fact he is still obsessively surfing at 50 is probably part of the very nature of being a surfer.

I would highly recommend this book to any surfer or those interested in the history of Australian surfing.