Wade Carmichael On…
A quick chat with the Australian powerhouse on doing it his own way.
The bearded Cenny Coaster has had a remarkable start to his rookie CT year. After making the Finals in Rio and J-Bay the naturalfooter has risen to No. 6 on the Jeep Leaderboard. He’s also done it in his own way and on his own terms. We checked in with Wade as he arrived in the States for the US Open and Surf Ranch Pro and asked his views on the following topics.
Mamma Mia 2
“After J-Bay I went with the Misso to Greece, full Mamma Mia. There was a couple weeks back to back with a jersey on so I was just frothing to kick back for a week and cruise. It was awesome. Then I headed to the States and right now I’m looking at the Trestles lineup and can’t wait to go surfing.”
“It’s a wave that keeps giving you power and keeps giving you sections, so there’s nothing better in surfing than that. You go so fast and it’s such a great feeling not having to generate your own speed. You can draw your turns out and connect the waves as one long line.”
Surfing J-Bay In A Comp
“In a freesurf you are just looking out for scraps so in a heat I was just frothing hard on the sets, because you don’t get to choose then usually. Why waste time catching the scraps that you are forced to get in a freesurf? My plan was to get two sets each heat, hope they didn’t closeout and get five or six turns on each wave. Look, it’s the same in each contest. In each heat you have to get the better waves and beat the other dude. In J-Bay there is added incentive, because you want to surf those waves.”
Doing Your Own Thing
“All year I’ve been doing my own thing. I find it easier and I like having the confidence in myself to make the right decisions. It’s always good to get a second opinion of course. In Rio I was on my own, but in J-Bay I had mate Tyler who was filming and my good mates Coops and Boom, so we are all just frothing on surfing J-Bay and we cruising with good vibes. I could always run a few things past the boys, but I like to do it on my own.”
“I’ve had very little idea about where to stay and how the comp works at each stop. I put out a few feelers to the boys about accommo and stuff and they gave been helpful, but it just takes times and internet research. It’s not hard, it just takes time.
“But in Brazil I rocked up at six in the morning then had a long drive and when I arrived the room they tried to give me was being renovated. There was a painter in there painting the walls. I was like, ‘No thanks.’ So I had a few hours driving around finding another room. But in the end that worked out as well.”
Being No.6 On The Jeep Leaderboard
“I’ve never really paid attention the people I was surfing against. I’m just focused on what I’m doing. It’s been a slightly weird year for results, with the bg names not doing so well, but if I have my surfing on dial then it should all work out.
“The goal was always just to requalify and I’m close to that so now it’s just about seeing how high I can finish and to keep improving and learning. You just have to be prepared to rip on each and every wave. It’s pretty simple really.”
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Wade Carmichael has been flying under the radar for years now, and it’s easy to see why. The stocky Australian with his thick beard and barrel chest looks like he belongs on a barstool in an outback pub watching rugby, not in the water. He also grew up in Avoca Beach, a small New South Wales town that’s perfectly isolated from the M1 highway and largely immune to media fuss as a result. But it’s most likely due to the fact that Carmichael is just a humble, soft-spoken guy who’s usually head down and hard working. He’s the polar opposite of glossy surf celebrity. He’s a blue-collar guy who grinds hard to represent home. And for its small size his home zone sure has been spitting out its share surfing talents. Wade grew up admiring local heroes Matt Wilkinson and Ace Buchan, who grew up watching guys like Shane Powell, Drew Courtney, Bryce Ellis and the late Mark Sainsbury, all of whom made impacts on the global stage. Compared to that bunch he took a bit longer to get out of the blocks, mostly because his low profile didn’t help him attract sponsors. To get his dream started he did everything from ditch digging and pounding nails to surf instructor and lifesaver. His big breakthrough finally came in 2015, when he won the Reef Hawiian Pro at Haleiwa in perfect surf. His authoritative rail game won the day, and nearly earned him qualification for the Championship Tour that year, but alas, he didn’t get that job done until 2017. Wade is now a Fantasy Surf picker’s dream. 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