Nick Carroll

Well before Nick Carroll became a treasured journalist and celebrated author, he was one of many red-hot surfers from Sydney’s northern beach of Newport. Matter of fact, the older Carroll brother was a two-time national champion in Australia in 79 and 81. 

Nick on the case along with Graham Cassidy during the Bells contest in 1982.

He was also a founding member of the Newport Plus Surf Club, one of Australia’s most powerful. Within a few short years, during the 1981 IPS tour season, Newport Plus had six surfers sitting in the Top 30. 

In 1984, when Shaun Tomson and Tom Carroll came to Bells Beach for the world title showdown, it was Nick who eliminated Shaun, securing his little brother his second-straight title. Nick then got busy writing about that day’s events for Tracks, where he was the editor.

The Newport Plus crew Circa 1979 with little Tom Carroll up top, and Nick in the second row, standing with white trunks and shades.
The Carroll kids, Tom, Nick, and big sister Jo, with their first ocean-going watercraft. Circa 1967

Today, at 59, Nick hasn’t slowed at a bit. He’s still surfing his brains out, and today he’s channeling his competitive fire into a variety of swim, paddle, and endurance races. He’ll be doing his seventh Molokai Challenge this summer. 

Nick’s been reporting on-the-scene for more than 40 years now, gathering incredible insights into our ever-evolving culture. He’s currently working a “history of pro surfing” book with fellow Aussie journalist Sean Doherty.

Nick’s amazing journalism career has overshadowed his feats as a competitive surfer. He was a two-time Australian champion, winning in 1979 and 1981.

I nabbed him on his latest visit to California and had a blast catching up with him for this latest episode. As a bonus, there’s some added color from Derek Hynd, a fellow Newport Plus team member. As you’d expect, the topics run the full spectrum, so strap in and get to know one of surfing’s most coveted tribal leaders. 

The amazing tale of the Carroll brothers.

If you haven’t checked out Nick’s last book, be sure to give it a look.