Riders on the Storm
Kicking back with surfing greats Tom Carroll and Ross Clarke-Jones
Surf legends Tom Carroll and Ross Clarke-Jones teamed up to film Storm Surfers 3D— an action-packed documentary that followed the two iconic big wave surfers on their quest for the world’s biggest waves. Get your copy of the DVD when it comes out on Aug. 6. Meanwhile, we had the chance to catch up with the duo when they paid O‘ahu a visit.
Waikiki Magazine: You were both doing the World Tour in the ’80s and ’90s when the competition was between surfers. What made you choose to pursue big wave surfing and compete with Mother Nature instead?
Ross Clarke-Jones: I was sort of one of those guys who was in it for the lifestyle … I enjoyed the Tour for what it was and never really did that well in competition. But my first passion and love was for riding big waves …
In 1995, I finished the tour. My sponsor, Quiksilver, pretty much said, yeah, you’re not doing that well in the Tour. You ride big waves, let’s go and just shoot it and document it that way … That’s when my life began really. I went from a struggling pro surfer to a struggling big wave surfer. In 2001 when I won the Eddie Aikau, it changed my life.
Tom Carroll: I think that I was already kind of there, doing it. I naturally kind of liked that feeling of being in the ocean, of being adrenalized and pushing myself. It ultimately started as an extension of using my skills that I already had developed and pushing that intensity out there, so big wave riding was sort of just a natural progression for me.