Saturday, April 5, 2008

Tom Carroll: Forward-Thinking

(Tom Carroll & Sean Tiner, @ Ocean Beach, Northern California)

As one of my good friends recently departed for a surf trip with Tom Carroll, I thought it would be a fun time to reminisce upon the two-time world champion's impact on the sport. From being the first million-dollar endorsed surfer to refusing to participate in South African surfing competitions during the apartheid era, Carroll has monumentally raised the benchmark for contemporary surfers.

(Tom Carroll (C) Tiner)

Carroll's love for the sport transcends his popularity and he genuinely connects with everyday fans. When Carroll and I were on a surf trip in Northern California, he shared his sincere passion with fans of all ages. I really enjoyed watching his inner-child appear has he connected with every day fans.

(Carroll w/the next generation (C) Tiner)

(Carroll (center) & fans (C) Tiner)

Additionally, Carroll has been a major role model in my life. Only one day after his sister passed away, he won the 1987 Pipe Masters, the pinnacle of surf competitions. As I have struggled with the loss of my brother, Carroll reminds me that moving forward is part of life and the best way to preserve the memories of our loved ones is in our daily actions, not daily mourning.

...I wish my friend the best of luck down under! ROCK ON! :)

(Carroll relaxing in the Quiksilver bus with Pete Mel & Scott (C) Tiner)

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