The West

Storm Surfers presents epic surfing
Storm Surfers presents epic surfing

Surfing legends Tom Carroll and Ross Clarke-Jones will present a special local screening of their new 3D documentary movie Storm Surfers featuring West Australian breaks next month.

The character-driven adventure follows the two friends as they hunt down the biggest and most dangerous waves in the Southern Ocean with the help of meteorologist Ben Matson.

Carroll said the action would totally immerse viewers but the film was also an honest portrayal of the pairs’ long friendship as “it shows who we are, there’s no crap”.

Together they tackle the Cowaramup Bombora, which is three kilometres off the South West coast and is described as one of their most ambitious, expensive and dangerous missions.

With safety a priority, a helicopter and crew of 20 were on hand at “Cow Bombie” with resuscitation equipment, defibrillators and neck braces.

After towing Clarke-Jones into a wave, Carroll’s 500 kilogram jet ski was shunted over the wave’s crest and he decided to “go down with the ship” and haul the ski out of ClarkeJones’ way as he surfed across the wave’s face, oblivious to the danger looming over him.

“I mistimed and it was scary, really scary, Ross was riding so close but we lived to tell the tale,” Carroll told the Times.

The jet ski was badly damaged and a $15,000 custom camera-mount remains at the bottom of the ocean after divers were unable to retrieve it.

The two-time world champion also survived the worst wipe-out of his 35-year career at Turtle Dove Shoal, 75 kilometres off the coast of Geraldton while filming Storm Surfers.

Travelling at an estimated 72 kilometres per hour, Carroll went “over the falls” on a more than 20- foot wave and disappeared into the churning avalanche.

“I hit the face, lost all my air and was buried deep, for an empty-lung hold down,” Carroll said.

“On the way up, I had to take water into my lungs, but I was okay, I coughed it out afterward.”

The wipe-out didn’t slow him down as he charged back in and said “it’s not unfamiliar territory but it was pretty full-on.”

Clarke-Jones and Carroll will attend the screening of the film, which is narrated by actress Toni Collette at Busselton’s Orana Cinema on September 4.

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