At age 50 with the responsibility of 3 daughters, it seems that Tom Carroll may be all but done with the thrill seeking side of surfing, that is until the biggest storm of the season collides with an unsurfed area off western Australia.
The story of the recently released documentary Storm Surfers 3D is of two long time friends whose mission in life is to take surfing to the extreme. Now later in their lives and having surfed the best the world has to offer Tom and Ross look for the undiscovered. Along with their meteorologist partner the track the storms of the Australian winters to surf the underlying swells in an attempt to surf the best waves mother nature has to offer. This documentary follows them over 3 months in the Australian winter of 2012 as they embark on their journeys. Some areas and some storms prove most prolific and satisfying while others appear to have slightly wasted their talents and time.
Ross appears to be the one of the group who won’t grow up and refuses to stop. As for Tom, it’s been 19 years since the birth of his first daughter and now has three daughters that have ultimately changed his perspective on risk taking and big wave surfing. One thing we learn is that Tom still has that fire burning deep inside him despite his current situation.
Ross and Tom soon learn of an off shore storm that proves to be possibly the last and biggest of the season. It’s 80km off the shore of western Australia in an area known as Turtle Dove that fisherman know for its big open ocean waves but has yet to be surfed, at least by Tom and Ross. They soon take the risk of the long trip in hopes that it will prove out to be all that the legends tell of the area. Tom takes a ride and soon finds himself seconds from drowning when his surfaces almost “mad” as Ross described because the wave got the best of him and soon the old Tom comes out and the extreme surfing is on.
Filmed with new technology and cameras that are small and made specifically for 3D recording this film is visually a marvel no matter what definition you view it in. The force that is presented of mother nature will leave you in awe of what these men do and not only do, but strive for and almost live and die for. It’s quite stunning the danger and feel that is given through the latest technology giving a new respect for extreme sports athletes.
The film closes with a few words of wisdom from Tom to the younger peers of his sport. Those words are that as they get older “They don’t have to stop doing it, just do it more intelligently.” These are words any extreme sport athlete can live by and bring us more thrills like Storm Surfers.