Quick Chat: Tom MacFarlane.
First up, what is the Tom MacFarlane story?
I’m just another kid from the Goldy who spent more time in the ocean than I did at school hahaha. The ocean has always been my happy place, so when I was growing up I’d do everything and anything to be in and around it. Freediving, spearfishing, kitesurfing and chasing barrels have always been the highest priorities on my agenda. I guess living on the Gold Coast just made that easier than it should have been!
Your a ‘knee devote, where did the love of the drop come from?
I learned to ride a stand-up pretty young but was persuaded to try bodyboarding by Eppo. I saw that famous shot of him boosting at Pipe hung in his living room one day when our family was visiting, and to a 12 year old that just looked like the best thing in the world. It wasn’t long before I was chasing barrels lying down, but a big part of me still wanted to get up every time I got on a wave. Dropknee was just a natural progression. Around the same time I was seeing all these shots and vids of Lackey, Crawley and Roach and it just cemented it for me.
You only get to surf one wave for the rest of your life, what’s your pick?
I won’t go into the specifics, but there’s a wedge just south of the Gold Coast. The locals don’t like people talking about it. You know the one.
Talk us through your equipment choices, what are you rocking for ultimate performance levels?
As far as boards go, I’m nearly always on a Nomad Lackey Supreme. Matt and the guys at Nomad have absolutely dialled this thing in. It holds a rail on the knee better than any other board I’ve ever tried. I use Limited Edition Fins because they’re super soft and don’t mess your feet up. And the rubber I’m rocking is whatever Attica wetty best suits the conditions.
Top three dropkneers in Australia today. Who have you got?
You wouldn’t think it, but there are so many good dropkneers in Australia that it’s hard to pick. I’ve grown up watching (and surfing with) Lackey and Tyson Ryan, and these are the guys that I’m still blown away by on a regular basis so they get top spots. And next up is Aaron Glossop. The dude is next level, and seems to have no problem obliterating his body in heavy slabs. If you haven’t seen him charging Shark Island on the knee before, then you need to witness that.
Outside of the waves, how do you fill in your time?
Unfortunately I’m hard on the 9-5 grind at the moment, so that chews up most of my time. But when I’m not working or surfing, I’m usually rock climbing. I picked it up recently and it’s become a bit of an obsession. It’s similar to surfing because you’re with mates, doing what you love and pushing each other to go bigger and better. There’s also that element of danger, and you need to know your limits and be sure of what you’re doing. But it’s been awesome learning new skills and meeting heaps of new people!
Any shout outs or thanks you’s ?
First up, massive thank you to Nomad, Limited Edition, Attica and Inverted for keeping me in the water on the best gear. Super special thanks to Noah Aubort for being such a legend. Shout out to my friends, family, the Froggies/Dbah crew and all the photographers who are putting their bodies on the line to get the shot. You all know who you are. Thank you for being some of the most encouraging and supportive people I’ve ever met. And last but not least, thank you to the guys at Infoamed for giving me this opportunity!