AT 52 years of age, Tom Carroll is as fit and as ripped as any man I’ve ever seen and he is still chasing huge storm waves, just for fun.
The two-time world champion – who went on to win 26 titles in his career – was the first ever surfer to sign a multi-million dollar contract.
He turned surfing into a professional sport back in the 80s by his approach to training and diet.
When most surfers were happy to eat a Chiko roll, chug a case of beer and party all night, Tom fuelled his body with organic foods and lifted weights, long before gyms were the trend.
Tom Carroll has an amazing attitude to life.
He is still a freakish athlete, and his mantra is: “Surfing big waves is not about how ripped your abs are, or how much you bench press — it’s about your nerve.”
He told me you develop courage by “pushing yourself into uncomfortable spaces and practising hard”.
Tom’s advice to younger blokes: Don’t hesitate. Don’t doubt. Just go for it.
He learnt this the hard way at 16 when he hesitated on a wave and got hammered, leaving him with a busted knee that nearly cost him his surfing dream.
Even now, doctors say he still needs a knee replacement.
Tom says the pain is a daily reminder that he who hesitates is lost.
Tom has conquered one of the greatest battles of his life — getting clean from a methamphetamine addiction — and continues to deal with mental health issues, helping Movember and the Black Dog Institute by raising awareness.
His bravery in the face of enormous waves is inspiration in itself.