Skip to main content

Tom Carroll
, 1981 (printed 2011)

by Lorrie Graham

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 50.5 cm x 40.0 cm, image: 40.0 cm x 27.0 cm)

Tom Carroll (b.1961), former professional surfer, made the finals of the 1979 Pipe Masters on his first-ever world tour, finishing 24th in the world on his debut year. He continued to ascend from 17th to 10th to 3rd before taking the world title in 1983, becoming the first goofy-foot world champion. The following year he defeated veteran Shaun Tomson to win the championship again. Having boycotted the South African leg of the 1985 tour in protest against apartheid he fell behind Tom Curren. In 1988, he made history again by securing a million-dollar contract with surf outfitters Quiksilver. He retired in 1993 with twenty-six career world tour wins, three Pipe Masters victories (1987, 1990, and 1991), and two world titles. He was inducted into the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame in 1990, the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1992 and the Huntington Beach Surfing Hall of Fame in 1999. In 2010 he was named seventh on Surfer magazine’s list of the fifty greatest surfers of all time. Having (sometimes miraculously) avoided serious injury in the water, in recent years Carroll has also overcome a damaging addiction to crystal methamphetamine, as recounted in the biography TC (2013) and the ABC documentary Ice Wars (2017).

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased 2011
Accession number: 2011.111