The Unsinkable Tom Carroll

The Western world developed a huge Aussie crush in the 1980s: Mel Gibson, Men at Work, Crocodile Dundee, Olivia Newton-John, The Thorn Birds. Surfing, of course, had Tom Carroll.

The Marui Pro world tour contest, held at Chiba, Japan, was the least-popular event among IPS pros. It was a long flight for most surfers to get there, the language barrier was high, the surf was often flat, and the English-language surf mags usually didn't bother to send a reporter. Yet the 1982 Marui Pro proved to be the bellwether event of the year. The surf, for once, was good—overhead and of...

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