Between training and surfing as much as possible, he’s also been working with Annesley surfboards at Mona Vale to refine his equipment.
“I’ve been working pretty hard on putting together a good quiver. I’ve been riding this year. I dropped my standard board about an inch and made it a bit wider just so it’s good in up to six foot conditions and easy to travel with. It’s working out really well.”
With three straight victories to start the year, it’s a fair call.
After taking out the Australasian Pro Junior at Bells Beach, he backed up a win in the VonZipper trials for the Billabong Worlds at Burleigh Heads by taking out the main event.
“I wanted to have a big year and this is unbelievable,” said Carmichael in an ASP press release at the time. “I wasn’t nervous that whole heat, even though I was sitting waiting for that second wave for a long time.” In fact, he’d spent the majority of the 30-minute final with just one wave on the scorecard, waiting until the dying minutes for a wave that could give him a winning score – a calculated move from such a young competitor.
“He’s different from most juniors,” says ex-world champ Barton Lynch. “He knows how to win. He is a quiet guy with a great focus and control of his emotions to achieve the result. Not only is he a great surfer but he is a very smart competitor.”
"That was the first World Juniors that I’ve surfed,” says Wade. “I was just excited to surf against a whole lot of new people. I only found out a week before that I got into it [but] I’ve surfed Burleigh a fair bit before. The bank was really good at Rockies and everything ended up pretty good.”
After a few laps of Junior circuit, familiarity with the breaks is certainly a competitive advantage, but his success this year rests as much his well rounded approach according to Barton, who describes him as one of the most powerful surfer of his generation and someone who can “do all the airs and rips in both small waves and big”.
Carmichael’s win at Bells in early January is a case in point. After a few year of poor surf, the finals ran in solid conditions perfectly suited to his powerful style.
“The last day was at Bells at the Bowl, probably about four to five foot. I’ve been going down there since I was about 12. The waves suit my surfing… and you get used to water temperature.”