Only a few year's ago Wade Carmichael was spending his summers lifeguarding to fund his Championship Tour dreams. So with those dream achieved, but the CT on hold, he wasn't the type of person to down tools.
He's said his inspiration is the movie character Joe Dirt; and not for the trademark mullet, but his motto, "Keep on keeping on." Over the last few months, few surfers in Australia have searched for waves or surfed as hard as the powerful natural footer.
Having signed with a new sponsor Rusty at the start of the year it's also been a valuable time to dial in his boards from legendary shaper Rusty Preisendorfer and log a stack of clips with filmer Jess Little, aka @jesslittlecreative. The pair have just dropped a teaser of their work over the last few months with a clip Covid Swell Throwaways.
As the title suggests it's a short blast of the cutting room floor edits from a bigger project due to drop at the end of the year. The surfing is as heavy as the Metallica soundtrack and further evidence that Carmichael's partnership with Rusty seems a good fit.
"To see the list of powermongers who've ridden his boards in the past - Occy, Taylor Knox, Powelly - is wild!," Carmichael said. "I've only ever looked up to those guys, and now hopefully a few people out there might start looking up to me too."
That's a pretty safe bet. Since Carmichael ditched the summer jobs and made the CT in 2018 he's been a revelation. In his first year he made two Finals, finished as the World No. 9 and secured the Rookie of the Year Award.
He didn't quite reach those heady heights in his sophomore year, but the 27-year-old consolidated his place on the CT finishing as the World No.18. He also won plenty more fans with his positive attitude and unique brand of power surfing. At 5'11 and 90 kgs, and with his trademark lumberjack beard, Carmichael has brought a something fresh, honest and vibrant to the stacked CT roster.
"A few years ago, when I was lifeguarding, I told myself I wasn't going any further backwards," he said. "Now, on tour, chasing the Top 10 and my first win, to have the support of a great sponsor is incredible, and gives me a lot of confidence to get out there and smash it!"
If these off cuts are any indication, it seems he's well on his way.