Stab Magazine | Meet the only man to beat Filipe Toledo in a small bowl this year
239 Views

Meet the only man to beat Filipe Toledo in a small bowl this year

Words by Jed Smith | Photos WSL Quitting was never on his mind but Hawaiian Pro winner and World Tour qualification bolter Wade Carmichael admits the three years he spent travelling and competing without a sponsor were “tough.” “I look back at it now and I did pretty well to get through it and keep […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Words by Jed Smith | Photos WSL

Quitting was never on his mind but Hawaiian Pro winner and World Tour qualification bolter Wade Carmichael admits the three years he spent travelling and competing without a sponsor were “tough.”

“I look back at it now and I did pretty well to get through it and keep positive,” he recalls.

Despite winning the Australian Junior Series and a World Junior Series event – in which he surfed all the way from the trials – no one would touch him. Even with accolades like this, from 1988 World Champ and leading talent scout, Barton Lynch:

“He’s got the full-bodied rail game a la Dane Reynolds and an amazing composure where he’s able to pull out special tricks at crucial times.”

Instead, Wade was forced to work shifts as a lifeguard and pool his contest winnings to chase his dream.

“It’s pretty frustrating when you hear of guys making crazy amounts of money and I was struggling to get backing,” he says. “But it makes you appreciate the win I got (at Haleiwa) and making it through heats a lot more. It feels better for me inside.”

bcf5081c307b735c07eb634d809ef0ad

Growing up on the NSW central coast (an hour and a half north of Sydney), Wade fell under the tutelage of World Tour surfers Matt Wilkinson, Ace Buchan and Micro Hall as a teen. Even so, graduating to the Q10k series remained a shock. Contested in the the shadows of the surf media, the relentless travel, poor waves and bizarre mind games more than ensured the Q lived up to is moniker, ‘The Grind’.

“It’s pretty full-on, it’s pretty serious, everyone is there for the same reason but everyone goes about it different ways,” he says. “People try and get in your head and psyche you out, they try and get in your little zone, say a couple of things, there’s some gnarly paddle battles, but I just tend to stick to myself and get in my own little zone.”

Coming in to the Hawaiian Pro last week, Wade was positioned distantly on the ratings, having not had a result since a third place at the Lowers Q10k back in May. In a stacked final that included reigning Hawaiian Pro winner and World Tour surfer, Dusty Payne, Hawaiian firebrand Zeke Lau, and world number two Filipe Toledo, Wade sprung out of the gates dropping a nine for a series of flowing power jams, before backing it up with a six shortly after. In between, he was forced to watch as Filipe race down the line and “five feet into the air, doing the biggest rotator. I was like, Jesus, here we go.”

c1e264aef480aa030a5a0a7245b988fc

A 15-minute lull set in shortly after, before a flurry of waves on the buzzer left Wade standing on the shoreline unsure who’d won.

“I was on the beach and Donny (former World Tour surfer, Dion Atkinson) was cheering so I realised they hadn’t got the score. I didn’t know what to do, I was just throwing my arms around.”

The win is the biggest of his career, lifting him 40 places on the Q to 13th, and just 250 points outside the ratings cut-off of 19,300. A solid result at the Vans World Cup, Sunset Beach (likely to be held in the solid open ocean rights that Wade favours) will likely see him qualify.

“I’ve been dreaming about that for a very long time, I couldn’t even put into words how it would feel,” he says. “The amount of contests I’ve watched on there, I don’t even know what I’d do. I think I’d just be frothing out going to those destinations surfing those crazy waves with a couple of people out.”

Wade is currently sponsored by Piping Hot, LIIVe, JR surfboards, and C-Skins.

winnerwadecarmichael-heff_d2u0778_n

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

4:18

Joao Chianca Wants A Pipeline Rematch With JJF

And ain't afraid to ride more foam to do it in the Vans Pipe Masters.

Nov 29, 2022

An Unorthodox Marriage Of Science And Surf

Cliff Kapono and The Mega Lab are changing stereotypes on all fronts.

Nov 28, 2022

5:07

Harry Bryant Dumps Crutches, Visualizes Pipeline Pits After Snapping Leg

“For once in my life, I’m taking something a bit more serious."

Nov 27, 2022

What If You Bought This Sumatran Surf Camp For $690k?

Making a blue print out of surfing's most recurring day dream.

Nov 27, 2022

Sierra Kerr On Greasing Full Rotes, Making Dad Cry & Her Concussion @ VSHPBME 

'I haven’t got my license yet, but I'm thinking of buying a little truck.'

Nov 27, 2022

4:25

“There Definitely Needs To Be More Girls That Try Airs”

Caity Simmers' thoughts on her Vans Pipe Masters debut.

Nov 26, 2022

Preview: Who’s John John Florence Flushing Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl?

The final event of the CS schedule is almost upon us. Let's dissect.

Nov 25, 2022

25:17

Dane Reynolds Said These Clips Weren’t Good Enough

Could'a fooled us.

Nov 25, 2022

Watch Now: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’

Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…

Nov 24, 2022

27:45

How A Magic Island Birthed One Of The Most Radical Surf And Skate Scenes In The World

Mateus Herdy, Pedro Barros and friends in Red Bull x Stab's No Contest, Brazil.

Nov 23, 2022

The Uber Driver Turned Crypto Millionaire Who Denounced His US Citizenship And Whips Into XXL Nazare

"I do what I want, I don't have a boss." -Toby Trouble

Nov 23, 2022

3:36

‘I Thought He Was Gonna Grab A Machete… Then He Picked Up A Rock’

2x SSOTY Jai Glindeman’s drama (& left-tube) filled Sumbawa trip.

Nov 23, 2022

3:34

“The Inside Of Pipeline Sounds Like The Center Of The Universe”

Tosh Tudor seeks solitude at the Vans Pipe Masters.

Nov 22, 2022

Is Rasta Rob Really Going To Ride His Beloved Stock Dims Rad Ripper At The Vans Pipe Masters?

An interview with the most rapidly ascended surfer in recent memory.

Nov 22, 2022

Sierra Kerr And Robbie McCormick Win Vans Stab High Indonesia Presented By Monster Energy

And we had a live premiere in Oceanside to celebrate.

Nov 22, 2022

The Stab Guide To The World Cup

Including which team bears most similarities to former CT surfer Ricky "Ricky Badness" Basnett.

Nov 21, 2022

Unlocked: Albee Layer Speaks His Mind In His SEOTY Entry, ‘Delirium’

Come for the double rotations, stay for Albee's existential thoughts on surfing and life.

Nov 20, 2022

Buy Now: John John Florence’s ‘Gravity’

Get Gravity and support Junior Lifeguards.

Nov 20, 2022
Advertisement