What's In Tom Carroll's Quiver For The Eddie?

10 Feb 2016 2

TC contemplating the Bay, Photo from Surfing World Magazine by Joli

TC contemplating the Bay, Photo from Surfing World Magazine by Joli

COASTALWATCH | Interview

The 31st Quiksilver In Memory Of Eddie Aikau big wave event was called on for Wednesday 10th (Thursday 11th, Australian time) but early on the morning of the event, the wind changed and conditions did not reach those suitable for the running of the contest. The waiting period remains in place until 29th February 2016.

Coastalwatch swell forecaster Matt McKay has said, "A deep low located in the North Pacific Ocean basin will satisfy the criteria for both The Eddie and Titans of Mavericks big wave events which are scheduled to run over the coming days." This is great news for the professional big wave surfers invited to compete in both events but also means they will have just 24 hours to travel between the two event venues of Hawaii and California.

SEE ALSO: Mason Ho & Ross Clarke-Jones Are Ready For The Eddie

We spoke to former world champion and big wave swell chaser, Tom Carroll as he was on his way to Hawaii to prepare for The Eddie.

Hey Tom, looks like it's a go this time. What's in your quiver this year?

"I have my boards in Hawaii ready for the call. I've got set for this year;"

  • 10'2 that's a little big for me
  • 10' yellow Brewer single fin that paddles into everything. I bought it from Gary Elkerton. It was a bit narrow for him but it's perfect for me. 
  • 9'9 as my backup, it's trustworthy
  • 9'8 Pat Rawson quad
  • 9'6 quad, it's an oldy by a goody that sits in the wave real nice when it's a bit more suckie
  • 9'4 Michael Baron that goes really well when the swell is dropping off 

Carroll has not yet won The Eddie and on the day the last held event in 2009, he snapped his leg and dislocated his ankle after being flogged by a 20-foot barrage of white-wash. Was this your worst Waimea wipeout?

"Without a doubt. There were no skis out, it was 7.30am and maxing out. I felt confident and good with the board I had, and there was no chop, it was just super smooth. I took off and had to move out away from the guy next to me, so I squared off the back." He said. The whitewash exploded twice as high as the wave and squashed him onto his board with his leggie wrapped firmly around my leg. "It was a horrible feeling; my legrope just wrapped around broke my fibular clean."

"I paddled in; it was the adrenalin that got me to the beach. I couldn't stand on my leg at all; it was just sticking out to the side. I threw my board on the ground and was all of a sudden surrounded by about ten guys and a lifeguard before being taken off in an ambulance." 

What about your collision with Ross Clarke-Jones in '99 event?

"It was so classic of me and him to get tangled up like that. (see full story here) I dropped in on him and we were facing each other. It can work out and it's a great feeling to be with friends on that wave, as long as you keep away from each other. In that situation, the wave kicked up to the left and I slid down my board. Before I knew it we were both down and out. Held under for a couple and both came up pretty shaken." 

SEE ALSO: Jamie Mitchell, All Guns Blazing

It obviously put you out for that event, how long was it before you got yourself back together again?

"It shut me up and sat me down for about six months before I could even look at getting myself back into action." 

With the ridiculous run of swell over the last 2 months, the surfers of the big wave world have really been flourishing, do you reckon it will make for a really momentous vibe at the event and out in the water? 

"Just look at all the guys right now. Off the back of the Todos Santos Challenge, Jaws and Nazare, there's been no shortage of waves. Greg Long, Aaron Gold, Slater, Dorian, JOB; they're all amazing and inspiring out there. I think the surfing at this event will be next level with the momentum from this winter."

What about you, you're pretty damn inspiring yourself, you've got to give yourself a start? 

"I'm just going out there to surf and aim for 8th place. I haven't surfed it since '99 and on the back side, to get in the top five is really hard. It will be a big achievement for me this year. It's so hard to get the right wave, sit deep enough and come through the section. In a way the saying rings true, The Bay calls the day." 


* Catch The 31st Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau live on the World Surf League site. 

The 2015/16 Opening Ceremony L-R Sunny Garcia, Nathan Fletcher, Tom Carroll, Reef McIntosh & Billy Kemper, Photo by RJC

The 2015/16 Opening Ceremony L-R Sunny Garcia, Nathan Fletcher, Tom Carroll, Reef McIntosh & Billy Kemper, Photo by RJC

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