Wade Carmichael's MINT is a Power Surfing Opus - Stab Mag

Wade Carmichael’s MINT is a Power Surfing Opus

Avoca Jesus has spent his year off getting tubed and laying serious rail.

cinema // Dec 11, 2020
Words by Alistair Klinkenberg
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Wade Carmichael’s surfing is immune to criticism.

It’s too no nonsense. Too powerful. Too compact and lacking in any sort of aesthetic flaws that no matter what your surfing preference, you can’t help but let out a “phaawww” when you see him fly through a turn. The above film MINT is cinematic proof of what a stellar year Mr. Carmichael had with his toes in the wax away from competition, and we decided to dial him up for a few vignettes to accompany such an explosive offering. He was midway through packing for Hawaii, where he’s about to fly out for two-and-a-half months in the islands. 

“We did a bit of driving, but mostly didn’t go past Straddle or [redacted],” Wade tells me of the start of the clip, reinforcing our firsthand knowledge that it’s been a hell of a winter here on the east coast. “There were a handful of Straddle sessions that were tapped, as clean and hollow as I’ve seen it.”

The Straddie footage in MINT is nothing short of remarkable. “Yeah I reckon,” Wade says in answer to the obvious question of whether it’s the best stretch of sand in the land. “One-hundred percent, this season the consistency was ridiculous. All-day westerlies, it was so perfect, and the swells were perfectly east; so many A-frames.”

Interestingly, when asked whether he’s been “working” on his surfing, or just enjoying it, Wade tells me that the thing he’s focussed on most this winter is learning how to read weather charts. Which makes sense, as even for a good winter, he got a lot of really good waves. “The main thing I’ve been doing is working on reading the forecast and picking the eyes out of it,” Wade says. “Refining boards to certain conditions too, but predicting the waves was the main goal. I’m always trying to improve turns and barrels too. We were just surfing our brains out most of the time, the number of 6-8 hour sessions we put in were ridiculous.”

The final section of the movie involved a mad, five-day, 13-hour-plus drive in either direction to reach a stretch of coast previously off-limits due to COVID-19. Wade says that they only surfed five times, but the quality of the surf was worth it. “We got the news that we could go down there and we jumped on it. I saw a little swell and flew out the day after the Straddie comp. It was a full strike-mission but it paid off. We had some crazy sessions, 3500km in a week, but it was well worth it.”

And now Hawaii. Wade sounded most excited about the prospect of scoring even more waves as he heads to the Islands. Especially as it’ll be free of the usual flotsam and jetsam crowds. On paper, Wade could be on for the tube-riding year of a lifetime. “I’m off to Pipe tomorrow, staying at Sunset for two and half months,” Wade says. “And then Santa Cruz. I’ll be back in Oz at Easter. I’m just hoping there’ll be some waves in Hawaii.”

Wade Carmichael is the everyman’s pro, so it’s hard to be jealous of the stellar life he’s been enjoying lately. In fact, you might go as far as saying he deserves it. Especially as his surfing the east coast winter so majestically.

Shop Wade’s pro model, The Keg, via Rusty


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