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Really excited to have Surf Legend, Artist, and Musician Corky Carroll on the Surf Strong Show.

Here's a bio of Corky from his bluemango website:

The greatest competitor of California’s Golden Age and surfing’s first real pro was five-time US Surfing Champion Corky Carroll.

Corky was right in the middle of much in surfing. Surfing in front of his family's beach house, he wanted a more durable swim trunk. He approached nearby Katin Surf Shop with his request. Nancy and Walter Katin got to work and created an industry.

As a student at Huntington Beach High School, Carroll took surf safaris with good friends such as Mark Martinson, Robert August, Mickey Munoz, Billy Hamilton and Mike Doyle. When Endless Summer was released, he travelled promoting the film.

Working for Hobie Surfboards, Corky found his niche interacting with the customers instead of in the back of the shop. In the water, Corky was so promising that Hobie Alter decided to sponsor him, paying Carroll to use and promote Hobie Surfboards.

During the mid-’60s noseriding era, he was as good as anyone. He was a champion paddler with keen wave judgment and a competitive spirit that usually paid off with high-scoring performances. In 1968, he won the Surfer Poll Award as the best surfer in the world. Few disagreed. “Of everything I achieved in my surfing career, winning the Surfer Poll meant the most to me,” Carroll said. “To be named the best by the people was the greatest honor. It is one of the only trophies that I kept for my kids.”

Corky was also at the forefront of the short board evolution, making the transition from long boarding that others could not. His Mini Model was the first production shortboard in America, and his Deadly Flying Glove model furthered the evolution.

Carroll was a great contest surfer, but he was also a gutsy big-wave rider. He surfed Waimea and huge Pipeline and he was in the water at Makaha on the day Greg Noll paddled into the largest wave ever ridden in 1969, pre tow. “I only rode one wave though,” Carroll said. “It was a monster, at least 300 feet as I saw it. I also got caught inside three times that day and spent hours swimming in.”
Carroll was one of the first to convert to twin fins in 1971 and was featured in a number of surf films in the ’60s and ’70s, including MacGillivray-Freeman’s Five Summer Stories.

When competitive surfing lost some of its luster in the early ’70s, Corky Carroll reached into his grab bag of talent and diversified into an array of livelihoods. He taught himself to play the guitar and was soon in the studio producing albums of original music. He wrote several books, spent 10 years as advertising director of Surfer magazine, six years as a tennis pro and a couple of years as a ski instructor. All the while, Carroll never relinquished the surf scene. An inductee into the Surfing Hall of Fame, he now operates his surf school in Costa Rica and is a fabulous surf columnist.

Links to what we discussed in the episode

Full Episode Transcript


00:00

Greg Finch
You, corky thanks so much for being part of the Surf Strong show. I really appreciate you taking the time to be here today. 


00:07

Corky Carroll
Well, I rushed in from my office just to be here for this because I was stoked I'm in my office I was already here so what the heck I'll do it. 


00:21

Greg Finch
Hey, I still thank you for it, though. Hey, I like to start some of these episodes with remember back, if you can, the first new surfboard you got, what kind it was, if you can remember that and what that felt like to get that first new board for you. 


00:43

Corky Carroll
Absolutely. Well, it was back in the mid 1950s, and I was growing up on the beach in a little place called Surfside, which is sort of south of Huntington Beach and north of Huntington Beach and south of Seal Beach. I know where it was. Most of us kids, we had surf on air mats or pieces of plywood with nails in them. Anything that would float, we'd Surf and the older guys had boards and they were big heavy wood boards back then and they just leave them laying on the beach rather than like drag them home because they weighed so much. But we lived right on the beach so I started kind of sneaking out the older guys boards and trying to learn to surf. But the houses were right on the beach, and they had pilings. And if you lost your board, it would hit a piling and put a ding in it. 


01:36

Corky Carroll
And I was always digging the older guy's boards, and I put them back. And who dug my board? I don't know. It could have been Larry. Wasn't me. And one night they all ganged up on my dad and told him, either buy my Zone board or we're going to drown him. My dad. Well, I kind of thought about it a little bit, so he bought me a board for Christmas, 1957. It was a eight foot, seven, solid balsawood, 44 pound, kind of semi pin tail board made by a guy named D*** Berrymore in Seal Beach. D*** made boards for a few years, and then it kind of got big making ski movies later, Barrymore. And it was a beautiful board. I remember waking up Christmas morning. It's like -50, degrees. There's a freezing cold, offshore, wind blowing service about two foot, and I had to go ride it. 


02:37

Corky Carroll
The problem was, I only weighed about 43 pounds. My board weighed 47. I weighed 43. I couldn't pick it up, so I had to pick up the tail, put it in the front, and then pick up the nose and put it in the front. Pick up the tail and put in the front and walk It from our house across the beach and into the water. We had no wetsuits back then and I was wearing a pair of my dad's big old baggy kind of like swimming trunks and I paddled out and tried to catch a couple of waves, and that was my first board. Eight foot, 747 pound, solid bossywood pentail. 


03:23

Greg Finch
Did your dad surf or no, my. 


03:25

Corky Carroll
Dad couldn't even swim. He liked to fish, but he couldn't swim. One time I had to save him. He actually waited out in the water too far. Had to go rescue this sucker. 


03:40

Greg Finch
Well, we're glad he did. So most of the people listening are surfers. That's a big part of my listenership, of course, being the Surf Strong show. So they're really familiar with who you are and the legend that you are and a lot of your history. But for those that are just being exposed to who you are, can you just talk a little bit more about that early life, growing up in surfside and in Southern California, and just as you kind of adventured into surfing, it was obviously surrounding you. How did you gravitate towards that? What were some of your early memories of that? That first new board story is awesome. So just kind of what was that like early for you? 


04:21

Corky Carroll
Well, our house was right on the beach, lucky for me and my bedroom window, if I lifted my head up about six inches, I could see the surf. But I learned to know what the surf was like from the sound, because were so close. I could tell if it was big, little, if it had shape. It was like, peeling. I was like, it was closed out, it's windy, whatever. So I didn't even really have to open my eyes until the surf was and also the cool thing was I could surf before school, after school, all day on the weekends, and so I could pretty much surf as much as I wanted. So I never really felt the need to ditch school or anything, because I could surf at least an hour before going to school. And once I started, I couldn't stop. I was hooked. 


05:15

Corky Carroll
The first wave is free. After that, you pay. I just surfed all the time. It became what I wanted to do all the time. My mom wanted me to take piano lessons. It's like, oh, man, I just want to surf. But she made me take piano lessons for five years. Anyway, I come home from school, I want to go surfing. No, you got your piano lesson for a half hour with my teacher. And then I was like, I get done. I'll come out, paddle out. 


05:48

Greg Finch
You earned it. You earned it that way. Now, in that era right there, being right next to the beach, how many other surfers were around you? Was it something that was still pretty infrequent being at your school and then later in high school? What was kind of the surf culture like at that time? 


06:09

Corky Carroll
Well, back then, there was a few of the guys that lived in my little town there surfed most of the older guys and pretty much I was the only one my age. A couple of other guys started a little bit later and I hung out with them. So I was always trying to get somebody to go surfing with me. I come home from school, be blown out, it'd be horrible. I wanted to go out. I go talk to my friend Steve. Hey Steve, let's go out. Surf really good. He goes, oh, it's blown out. It's terrible. No, look, there's a left over there and there's a peak there, and we can be getting some good rides. Sometimes I'd talk them into going out and sometimes not. But the problem was my mom didn't like me to go surfing by myself. So sometimes I had to tell her, yeah, I'm going out with Steve down by his house. 


06:59

Corky Carroll
And so I like, go surf in front of Steve's house where my mom couldn't see me. I surfed out in front of my house. She could always look out and see me out there. My mom really didn't like the beach. She liked the mountains. My dad liked the beach. My mom liked the mountains. So we lived to the beach. But sometimes on the weekends we had to go to the mountains because my mom had a little cabin up there. The only way they got me to go is I could go skiing. I like to ski too, so they go, okay, you can go skiing if you go to the mountains with this weekend. Okay. 


07:34

Greg Finch
Now, would that have been like up in Big Bear? Would that have been where those cabins were in Southern California there? 


07:39

Corky Carroll
Yeah, exactly. I think they would take me to Snow Valley up by Big Bear and learn to ski. But I just pretty much wanted to surf all the time and a few of the other guys surfed and then kind of like at about 6th grade, a lot of the other guys started surfing too. And I was sort of the first really cool guy. Before that, they were all geeks and kind of hippies and beatniks. 


08:12

Greg Finch
So as it kind of progressed there and you're getting those years in of surfing and you're starting to get a little older, and then there's this kind of starting to hear maybe about this contest here or maybe starting what was that like starting to get into more of that structured kind of contest based surfing. What was that transition like for you? 


08:38

Corky Carroll
Well, at first there wasn't any contest, but then in 1959, they had the West Coast Championships in Huntington Beach and I talked my dad and it let me enter and take me down there. And it was kind of big that first year, I remember I was a little bit scared and I think I got third in my heat or something. And I was like, wow, I beat two guys. I couple of the older guys, like Jack Haley, the guy that won the contest was Missile Beach, and Ike was in the same grade with his little sister, and he came up and he goes, yeah, you did pretty good. Stick with it, kid. Maybe in a couple of years you'll pick something to yourself. Wow. Jack Haley said I was going to do good, so I started entering all of the contests, and I don't think I even won a heat until 1962 in the San Clemente Surf Capades. 


09:38

Corky Carroll
I actually won the contest, and it was kind of wow. I went from not even winning a heat to winning a contest. It was like I remember Richard Harbor was like my first sponsor that gave me a free board, and he had taken me to the contest. It's on the way home and rather having him drop me off at my house. I had him drop me off down at the end of the street so I could walk up the street holding my trophy and show everybody, hey, look, I won a contest. People go, what contest? Big contest. Look, see, I got a trophy. But I kind of, like, started the whole thing. Once I won one, it was like, okay, I'm unleashed. And I remember my dad said, yeah, this is really cool, but what are you going to do for a living when you grow up? 


10:30

Corky Carroll
I went, I'm going to be a surfer. He goes, how are you going to do that? And I went, I'll be a pro. He goes, they don't have pros. They will, and I'm going to be one. 


10:42

Greg Finch
Just like, basically just determination to kind of figure it out. Right. Obviously, we can talk about present day and path and understanding how you get from A to B. As difficult as it still is, you can see that possibility. But at that time, you were making it up, essentially, and it was just determination to kind of figure that out. 


11:07

Corky Carroll
Yeah, pretty much. I knew that all I really wanted to do was surf, and I had to figure out a way to keep doing that because I dream about it. I had posters all over my walls, and I pretty much surf all the time, and I wanted to figure out how to do that. And later somehow I lucked out and did. 


11:30

Greg Finch
Yeah. And it goes back to just, like, pulling your friend in. Come on, come on. Now it's blown out. And just like, that stoke and just being that focused and determined drives us to achieve a lot of things. And when it's centered around something like passion, like surfing, it's not that hard to keep that fire going. 


11:52

Corky Carroll
Yeah. I've always been kind of one of those guys that focuses in one thing to the complete ignoring everything else. I have friends that go, yeah, you're, like, good at that one thing, but you forget everything else. 


12:08

Greg Finch
Yeah, there's something about that. I guess it is a give and take, right. A well balanced life or achieving something at a very high level. It's kind of trying to balance those two things is not easy. 


12:22

Corky Carroll
No, it's not easy. 


12:25

Greg Finch
You haven't figured it out yet. I was hoping you were going to tell me how to do that. 


12:29

Corky Carroll
Somebody's got to do it. 


12:33

Greg Finch
So you're going forward now. You're starting into more contests now. It's starting to get to maybe larger contest you're getting into around what is it like, I think Surfer Magazine when was it? You're named best surfer in the world. What's happening about that time in your career and your life? What's that level like for you now? Is it exciting? Is it exhausting? What's kind of going on around that era? 


13:05

Corky Carroll
Well, the whole thing sort of, like, grew. I think the first major contest I won was the US. Championship and the juniors in 1963. I was getting into high school, and we had a bunch of good surfers in our high school. Robert August, he was a star of Endless Summer, and he was student body president when I was a freshman. And he was like this, like so he wore cashmere sweaters and moderate shirts, and he had all the hot chicks and was, like, super cool and groovy, and I was the false, like, surf punk. And were, like, kind of opposite. We didn't get along very good. He was, like, cooler. At least he thought he was cool. I thought I was cooler, but he was the cool guy. I remember the first assembly we had when I was a freshman. I was late getting into the auditorium, and Robert was up on stage leading the flag salute, and I came in, and I was the only one in the back. 


14:14

Corky Carroll
And so I saw him up there, so I turned around, I mooned him a BA, and he started trying not to laugh in the middle of the flag salute. Unfortunately, the vice president was walking in right after vice principal of the school was walking in right after me and caught me doing it and pulled me out by my ears, took me to the office. Mr. Carol, we don't do that kind of thing in high school. Sorry, but Robert's a geek. Robert and I became really good friends later. I love Robert. In high school, were not good friends. 


14:54

Greg Finch
I think one of the things that kind of went along, endless Summer comes out. It starts going on. I think you guys were doing a promotional tour. I think you were part of that promotional tour, which was pretty expansive, right? It was maybe even international, but certainly national. Talk about that a little bit. 


15:13

Corky Carroll
Exactly. Well, like I said, the whole kind of competition thing was sort of growing, and at the same time, surfing was going off. It went from pretty much a bunch of bohemians in the 50s, but then early 60s, after Gidget came out and the beach party movies and stuff, it became kind of this fad guys that drive around with like boards in their car that didn't surf. Yeah, we surf, we're cool. Score chicks. Yay. Scoring chicks was a big part of it. 


15:48

Greg Finch
That's a motivator. 


15:51

Corky Carroll
I got sponsored by Hoby and Hoby was a big surfboard maker. And one of my first jobs was mowing down blanks. Now what that meant was back then the blanks they made the boards out of were big thick things about six inches thick and they glued the stringers up in the middle and the stringers would be sticking out both sides of the boards. My job was to go into the shaping shop at night after the shapers had finished for the day and line up. We had like eleven shaping stalls. I'd line up blanks in every single one of them and then I had three different planers going and I'd do like three boards and three boards, turn them over and do the other. What I did is I thinned them out to about the thickness that the shapers wanted to shape the boards. And so I take these like six inch blanks with stringers sticking out both sides and make them like four inches thick. 


16:54

Corky Carroll
That was my job. And I could work from like anytime I wanted between when the time the shapers topped to the time they started. So I would like do whatever I had to do. I had an apartment in Dana Point, but I was still going to school in Huntington Beach. And so I would stay at my apartment on the weekends and sometimes during the school nights even and drive back and forth. And one night I'm in there and I'm mowing down blanks and it's like 02:00 in the morning or something. And I used to wear glasses because the chips, just clear glasses, the chips that go in my eyes before we had goggles. So one night I'm in there and I'm shaping and my glasses are kind of like slipping down on my nose, kind of like and so I had the planer in one hand and I went to push my glasses up and planed my arm. 


17:54

Corky Carroll
I mean really blood squirting out, big dark blood and I'm like blood's going all over the place. And I threw the planer into a pile. I foamed us and ran out. I was 15, but I had my first car. I didn't have a driver's license. I think I had a learner's permit. And I go rushing to the hospital. I left the door open, left the lights on, the radio is blasting, planar is still going, blood's everywhere. And I was on my way to the hospital but I started getting dizzy. I thought I was going to pass out, so I stopped on the way back. There was an apartment I'd stay in a lot of times. One of the guys that lived there was Rodney Sumter, this Australian surfer. So I ran into the apartment to get somebody to take me to the hospital. Rodney was in there, but he had a date and he didn't want to take me to the hospital, so I passed out and he wrapped a towel around my arm and left me laying there on the floor because he had a date. 


18:57

Corky Carroll
And I woke up in the morning and the towel stuck to my arm and I'm like sick. And I got in the bathtub, soaked the towel off of this big gory wound in my arm, and I kind of didn't know what to do. And Ronnie goes, Maybe go down to Doheny and talk to Bob Moore or Peter Van D***, the lifeguard, so maybe they can help you. So I went down there and I think Peter Van D*** was down there. And he goes, Go to the hospital, man. That's like gnarly. So I go to the hospital and they couldn't stitch it up because it had been too late, so they had to tape it together and it's this kind of big wound. So I go back and I go to this shop in Dana Point, and everybody's going, oh man, you gotta go. You got murdered. 


19:43

Corky Carroll
Everybody's been looking for you. They thought you got murdered. What? But the shapers came to work at like eight in the morning, and here's the lights on, here's a planar still going, and a bunch of bloody foam, dust, blood all over. Door open. They're going. Somebody murdered Corky. Oh, no. So nobody find Hoby. And I went, Hoby, I'm okay. And he was in his office with a general manager, Jim Galloon. And they were sitting there, and Hoby goes, well, you know, you're much more valuable to me surfing than you are mowing down blanks. So I'm going to put you on salary to do nothing but surf. Because from now on, you're a professional surfer. You just go surf every day, maybe go visit some of the dealers or something, but just surf gave me a salary. And Jim Gloom is in there. He goes, God, I guess this makes you the first real professional surfer. 


20:46

Corky Carroll
I'm like, cool. I told my dad now I go, dad, I told you so. 


20:54

Greg Finch
It took you all of 3 seconds to decide that was better than planing at night. And possibly. 


21:03

Corky Carroll
They didn't want to give me any sharp objects, power tools. 


21:08

Greg Finch
They're like, this might be cheaper. Put them on salary, less liability. This is a good path for everyone. 


21:14

Corky Carroll
Exactly. And right about the same time I got hired on by Janssen's Swimwear to be in I think they had called the Janssen International Sports Club, where they had guys from different sports do their ads. Jerry west from the Lakers and Don Meredith from the Cowboys. And Paul Horning and Bob Koozie were some of the guys. And so I started doing ads with them. And so I had a sponsorship from them, and I had my sponsorship from Hoby. And there it was. I was a pro, got my own apartment, moved out of my parents house in high school. 


21:57

Greg Finch
Right. You're still in high school at this point? 


22:00

Corky Carroll
Yeah, I kept an apartment, Dana Point, and still went to high school in Huntington. But that's how the pro surfing thing for me started. It led into other stuff. There wasn't money in contest yet. The first contest that gave money was in 1965. It was the Tom Mori invitation. It was a nose running contest. So that ushered in money. And the contest didn't offer money until 1967. Other than that. And then they had an international pro Am in Santa Cruz that started giving price money. And after that there became prize money. And yeah, 1968, I won the Surfer Poll for best surfer. I was pretty stoked about that. How money coming into the sport sort of changed things was in the early days, leading up until the late 60s, actually, when you went to a contest it was more about going to the parties than it was a contest. 


23:08

Corky Carroll
They were always on a weekend, Friday and Saturday. And you'd go down there on Friday and there'd be a party Friday night and you'd surf in the contest Saturday and there'd be a party Saturday night. And if you still could, you'd surf if you were still in it on Sunday. Sunday. But it was a real social thing and it was really a lot of fun and it wasn't quite so serious. Like you'd root on your buddies unless you're in the same heat. But it's like my pal Mark Martinson, he'd be in heat. I'd be going, Go, Mark. But then when we got in the finals together, it was like he'd get a good ride and I'd be going, Fall off, catch a rail, break an arm. David and were the same thing. We were pals on the beach. But, man, when we got in the water competing, it was totally different deal. 


24:00

Corky Carroll
David you take this close and I'll take the next good one. 


24:03

Greg Finch
But also, too, at that level, being able to turn that on and off so the heat is finishing and then you come back and then it can be that party and social again. There maybe not those pressures yet that come with where it is now and the sponsorship money and just to travel, just the travel costs involved just being able to have it where I'm on now and then I'm back off and having a good time with my social club again. 


24:32

Corky Carroll
Really kind of cool thing about the beginning is sort of everybody you knew people up and down the coast. So if you go somewhere, like if I go, like, to San Diego, I had people I could stay with. I go I'll go stay at Larry's house or somebody. And if I went to Santa Barbara? Oh, go stay with Reneder or Bob Cooper or somebody. You always had a place to stay. 


24:56

Greg Finch
Yeah. 


24:57

Corky Carroll
Then something got so big it's like you didn't know everybody anymore. In other words, like too many people to know. Kind of the more money got into it the more serious it got and sort of the less friendly it got. And guys didn't go to the parties anymore. They went seriously to compete in the contest. I was always kind of I want to go to the party kind of guy. 


25:26

Greg Finch
So as you're going through that you're competing more. You're getting to a place where I believe you were 24 when you retired essentially from professional surfing in that capacity of contest. What kind of spurred that on? What did you see as your path diverging from that to that point? 


25:48

Corky Carroll
Well, surfing was getting bigger and bigger. In the late 60s were making pretty good money. Not like today. I think the biggest year I had was like $35,000 or something but in 68 or 69, 67, that was a lot of money. My dad was a president of an electrical company. I made more than he did. It was a good living but it peaked I want to say probably around 1969 ish 1970 and started vietnam came in and attention kind of went off of surfing into other things. That's when it was a summer of love and acid rock was coming in and big concerts and surfing was kind of fading in it as far as the national attention was on it and it was growing in other places like Australia but in the US. It was definitely kind of dropping off and the available money to be made was less every year. 


27:04

Corky Carroll
And I was still pretty much making more than anybody else, but it was less every year. And also the competition was getting kind of weird because the people that were running the events were these kind of like, really, we're going to do it our way and we don't care what you guys say. And the guys were in the contest were kind of like going you guys aren't really doing this right. You should be doing in a different way. And there was a lot of butting heads between the powers that be and the surfing associations and the surfers themselves. I was sort of good at talking and all of the other guys weren't. And it was always like became corky. You go tell them why? You go tell them. Yeah, we're not good at it. You go tell them. And I would always be the one arguing with it like you know, it's like 1ft and blown out. 


28:01

Corky Carroll
Let's like postpone it till tomorrow, you know, and we're having it. And so I got in some clashes with the powers of B. I didn't like that. They didn't like that. I became kind of noticed the guy that argued but I was always sort of trying to stick up for us and that was becoming more prevalent and sort of the fact that the money was less and it was harder, I became sort of less stoked. Hold on just a second. I was leading up to a point there and I lost it. And it's sort of at the same time, I had won a lot of contests by then, and there was sort of like this sort of like when you're coming up, they're all rooting for you, but when you've been there for a long time, they don't want you there anymore, they want the new guy. 


29:05

Corky Carroll
And it became harder and harder to win events. It's like instead of winning, I had to win outright. I didn't get any close calls anymore. In fact, I wasn't even getting calls where I should have won because I'd want too much. And so that was a problem. And I wasn't as stoked as I was a few years before that. And I sort of was like getting stoked on playing music. And I started playing in clubs and bars. I had a little band and that sort of became more I was more interested in that. And I still wanted to surf all the time because I never stopped my love to surf, but I stopped having the love to compete. I wasn't liking it. And the problem for me, when I first got into music, I was playing music, but I wasn't like, playing seriously. I think I played it in a couple of surf movies during the intermission with a friend of mine that was a good blues harmonica player. 


30:16

Corky Carroll
We do a few songs or something, but it wasn't something I was thinking I was going to pursue. Then a friend of mine, it was Jack Haley, had a bar in a restaurant in Sunset Beach. And he called me up one day, goes, hey, I hear you play the guitar. And I went, yeah. And he goes, I need somebody to play in my restaurant three nights a week. You want the job? And I went, yeah, sure. Cool. I got a gig. And all of a sudden he realized, but I guess I'm going to have to sing. And I didn't sing at the time. My mother had been a singer, and it was really good, always wanted me to sing, but I hadn't really done it. So I bought one of those 100 songs that you hope you never hear by a guy that can't sing songbooks, and I learned some songs, and so I went in and I started playing at Captain Jack's three nights a week and playing guitar and singing, and I got playing guitar pretty well, but my singing was lacking. 


31:14

Corky Carroll
But I did it anyway. It was like people would go, hey, Corky, play guitar, but you shouldn't sing. But I did it. And I went I started taking singing lessons and voice coaching, and I tried and tried. It's getting a little bit better and a little bit better, and I got. To the point where I could kind of get away with it and put together a little band. And we started playing a little bit more important gigs. But people would come more out of curiosity. It's like, let's go see how bad he sucks kind of deal. And I was skiing a lot, and I had bought a trailer up at Mammoth and I would drive back and forth. And at the end of 1972 they had the World Surfing Contest in San Diego. And for the most part of it, they held the event up in Oceanside because it was a real steep angle south swell, and it was flat in San Diego. 


32:18

Corky Carroll
But Oceanside was catching it. And it might have been like three to 4ft and fairly decent beach break up the coast. It was huge. I remember getting up one morning and driving to Newport Beach. Newport Point was like 15ft going off. They had pictures of it in Surfer Magazine. Called it Pipeline comes to Newport. It was unbelievable. But then I drive back and surf three foot blown out in the afternoon. Well, on the day of the semifinals and finals they moved the contest back to Ocean Beach. And it was 1ft. It was terrible. And I remember they sent us out in our semifinal heat. It was high tide. It was lapping on the beach. And there was a little sandbar outside that every now and then one little wave would kind of lap over on the sandbar. It was a 20 minutes semi final heat. 


33:11

Corky Carroll
So went out and we're all sitting there by this little sandbar waiting for a wave. Nothing came for about ten minutes. So everybody else this was in six man heats in those days paddled in it and we're catching these little inch waves right by the beach standing up and, like, doing something, hitting the beach. And I stayed out by the little sandbar going, well, if one wave comes in, I'll get a better score than I could get on five of those by the beach. So I set up by the sandbar and no waves came. 20 minutes went by. I didn't catch a wave. I fell. Then I went, if this is what surfing competition has come to, I'm done. And I went, this is my last contest. And that's what made me retire, was the fact that they actually would hold a World Surfing Championship in 1ft waves when they could be 20 minutes up the coast. 


34:07

Corky Carroll
And it was four to 5ft. And surfable because it had to be in San Diego. The rest of it could be in San Diego County. But for some reason, probably commitments to the city or television or whatever it was, it had to be in the city of San Diego. So as far as that's concerned, that was stupid. I wasn't looking at the financial implications for the city. I was looking at how it affected me and everybody else in the contest and I just said, I'm done it's come to this, I'm finished. And so I kind of was getting interested in more on doing the music and I like to ski and went, I'm going to go spend that season up in the mountains and ski. And so I rented my house out and I went up to see D*** Berrymore in sun valley, Idaho. That's where he lived, making ski movies, rented an apartment. 


35:07

Corky Carroll
I got a job working in the ski boot factory on the rivet machine and at night at the Charthouse as a dishwasher. And I moved my family to Sun Valley. We're going to spend the winter. We wound up spending three years. I was playing music on the weekends. I washing dishes. I was riveting ski boots, happy as a clam at high tide, and figured it was a good way for me to get away from the beach and sort of developed the music a little bit more where people weren't coming to see me because of who I was. They were just coming because they were coming for drinks. And I was in the bar and I could get better without the scrutiny of my friends coming. Hey, we knew it, you suck. 


35:57

Greg Finch
Now, during that three year stretch, little to no surfing then, because you were up there, were you traveling back at all or was it pretty much just skiing and music? 


36:05

Corky Carroll
Well, actually I surf quite a bit. Not during the winter, I skied all winter, but during the spring and fall week. It was called slack season. Everything would close in the mountains. I would come back and stay at the beach for like six weeks and surf. And then in the summer it was a ten hour drive from Sun Valley to Seaside, Oregon. I would go surf in Oregon in the summers, so every few weeks I'd go like three or four days and go surfing in Oregon. And it was great. I really liked it. And then finally I started craving surfing more and I was sort of getting a little bit better at the music. And so I came back to the beach and put together a band and got serious about music and surfed. A couple of years into it, I got hired by Surfer Magazine to be ad director so I could do all the stuff I want to do. 


37:08

Corky Carroll
I could still play music. Surfer Magazine was a great job for me because I love to surf and I was pretty good at selling ads and I was a surfer for ten years and skiing and surfing and doing music for the most part. 


37:27

Greg Finch
Now at that point, I think you even produced albums as well, right? Put albums out and maybe do some touring with those and went pretty deep down into the music part. 


37:38

Corky Carroll
Yeah, I got a couple of record deals and had a couple of albums and some singles and I sort of got to the middle. Explain this one is, in music you can sort of make money. Two way is being playing in bars are being big. You get to the middle and you play like your opening act for concerts or you tour the clubs. Like, we played the Troubadour and the Golden Bear and the Ice House and those kind of clubs and did a little tour of the East Coast. But that's hard making money because you don't get paid a whole lot for that. I remember the first time I played the Golden Bear. It was a great night. We had a sellout. I think were getting paid like $800. But there were nine people in my band. We had three girl singers, the Corquettes, and we had six band members. 


38:37

Corky Carroll
And so were only, like, making $90 apiece. And at the end of the night, I went up to get paid, and the guy said, okay, it'll be $347. I went, $347. We're making $800. He goes, no, you owe us $347. Why? And he goes, Your bar tab. Bar tab? I thought the drinks were free. And it's like they had put like a fruit bowl in snacks, in Cokes and beers and stuff like that in our dressing room and said, if you want anything else, just order it. And so we ordered some pizzas, and I think somebody ordered a bottle of wine and had some drinks. At the end of the night, we owed them 300, whatever it was $47, and I didn't have it. Well, I'll have to come back and pay it tomorrow. They wouldn't let us take our instruments. They held our instruments hostage until I went back and paid the $347. 


39:38

Corky Carroll
It was the only club that ever did that. All the other clubs we played at, the fruit bowls were free. 


39:47

Greg Finch
You're trying to make it on both sides, the front of the house and the back of the house can't have both. 


39:53

Corky Carroll
Yeah. Most of it was like whatever they gave us in the dressing room was usually like soft drink spears and fruit baskets for free. But if you wanted to get bar drinks, it was like half price or something. But not like all the Bear, man. It was all full price, including the apples. It was like a dollar an apple. It was a hardcore lesson in rock and roll. 


40:18

Greg Finch
It's not all glamorous rock and roll lifestyle. I put questions out to my audience and listenership knowing that you were coming on, and I got a flood of questions back from them, which is great. So I'm going to kind of go through some of these questions and just get your take on them and see where the questions lead. Some good stories and some just talking some shop a little bit. So do you have favorite surfers to watch now? Do you watch professional surfing at all? 


41:00

Corky Carroll
Every now and then I watch. I was following the tour for a little bit. I've been a Kelly Slater fan. I knew him when he was a little kid. His mom used to work for us when I had a clothing line. She was our secretary. And I used to take Kelly and Sean and Steve, the three brothers, surfing when they were like 910 and eleven. I remember I was announcing a contest in Florida and Kelly was in the minahunis and he was the best surfer in the contest. And I remember saying on the loudspeaker, this kid's really good. He can be world champion one day. Mark my words. You heard it here first, folks. Nobody remembers that, but I always bring it up and go, Remember, I was the first one. Yes. So wet Quirky, we don't care. So I followed his career and I watched some of the events because I was rooting for him. 


41:58

Corky Carroll
But it's really hard for me to watch the events because I kind of don't agree with the way they score. I'll watch one and I'll see a guy just get a screaming long barrel and a bunch of power turns and great ride, and he'll get a four. And then I'll see the next guy I'll take off and they'll do a big aerial move and wind up in the whitewater going straight off and get an eight. And in my mind, yeah, the aerial move was really cool, but it wasn't as good as the guy that got, you know, went 300 yards at mock speed and got three barrels, but they score higher for one move. Then, I mean, that's my take on it. I'd watch events, I'd get frustrated with like, oh, man, that's wrong. But I'm not like old school. I'm ancient school. 


42:57

Greg Finch
A couple of schools back is what you're saying. 


43:00

Corky Carroll
Like, way back there, black and white. But it's better now than when I was doing it because we had six guys in a heat and they give you like twelve minutes and you had to catch a minimum of five waves, and it was tough. Now they're out there for like a half hour, only two guys, and they only have to catch two waves. And they got jet skis taking them back out. How cool is that? We had to paddle back out. I'm not going to get back out to catch another wave. There's a close out set, admittedly, and also they're making trillions of dollars. It's like, I'm jealous. Guy gets like, 32nd, makes more money than I made in a whole year. 


43:50

Greg Finch
A little different scope. A little different scope. 


43:52

Corky Carroll
Now I'm totally jealous. But I don't watch all of the events, but I watched some of them, and now this sort of I think Kelly said to the end of his career finally, I thought he was going to be surfing pro into his sixty s. I mean, what an amazing career that dude has had when he's winning contests in his 50s going, God, I bailed out. Too young. It is amazing. 


44:21

Greg Finch
Obviously, you could talk endlessly about what he's accomplished. And just from the fitness side being what my background is just to watch him stay at that level physically and mentally focused to be able to train, to maintain that for that length of time. It's just hard to comprehend what it takes to physically be at that peak for that long. I mean, the work he puts into is just unprecedented, for sure. What you come genetically to the table absolutely contributes. But the determination and the work ethic of that just on the physical side itself is just amazing. 


45:10

Corky Carroll
And I think he's sort of experiencing this sort of the same thing I did at the end of my career. I watched some events he's in and I swear he won the Heat and he doesn't. He's at the point where he has to win hands down to win. They're not giving him any close decisions anymore. I'm a big fan of is like Kylinny and like, Laird Hamilton. These guys that are like, Laird blew my mind. I used to babysit Laird when he was a little kid. We played checkers and fellows. He'd hit me over the head with a checkerboard. I love Laird. When Laird was first doing the toe ends and just, like, getting air and trying to hit the helicopter and I was just going, okay, this is a whole different deal altogether. And he was wind surfing and paddleboarding. He took surfing to a whole different level. 


46:09

Corky Carroll
Laird is sort of like, on a whole level than anybody else. Sort of like Kelly in a different way. And now this guy, Kylinny, I watch him. He sort of took it where Laird went and is going further. And I'll be, like, looking at instagram or something. And here's like, Kylie Lenny doing airflips on 300,000 foot waves. 


46:35

Greg Finch
Yeah, it's amazing. I mean, jaw dropping is even an understatement when you see the size of. 


46:44

Corky Carroll
The size of waves these people are writing these days is unbelievable. I remember being out of Yma Bay. Would it be 20ft? Remember when I was a little kid and the first time I caught what George Downing said? You got a genuine 20 foot. Where 20 footer there, kid. It's like 20 footer. That thing was 300 foot, George. 20ft the size of Empire State Building. That's like a little King Kong on there. 


47:13

Greg Finch
So that leads us in perfectly into this next question here, which is, if you can pinpoint one or two experiences what's the most terrifying wave you've ever ridden through your surfing? 


47:27

Corky Carroll
Most terrifying wave? 


47:29

Greg Finch
Yeah. 


47:29

Corky Carroll
It's kind of a long story, but there's this place on the windward side of Oahu called 7th Hole and it's in Kohuku and it breaks way out on a reef off of the cuckoo golf course off the 7th Hole. And if you see whitewater out there, it's probably like 10ft so far out. And one day the north Shore was closed out. It was really big, but the wind was blowing kona winds, which is offshore on the windward sides. So me and a guy named Peter Johnson and another guy named Chris Prowess from San Diego drove over there to check it out. And you could see these perfect lefts peeling off out there, look like Alamoana. I'm going, God, it's like 15ft and perfect. And George Towning pulled up to check it out. And I go, what do you think, George? He goes, It's really big out there. 


48:21

Corky Carroll
I go, what do you think, like 15ft? And he goes, I don't know. That's pretty big. I go, Looks good, let's go out. And he goes, you guys go out, and if I see a good ride, I'll be out. Okay, so let's go out. So we paddled out. Well, it was about 80ft. It was so big they didn't want to get near it. But the problem was, as we got out there, it was getting bigger. And we paddled over a set, and all of a sudden there was, like, sets and bigger sets, and we kept piling over sets, and they would close out behind us, and the channel was closing out. And we kept going up further and bigger and further and bigger. And pretty soon we're, like, way out in the middle of the ocean. You could hardly even see the beach. And Peter didn't make it out. 


49:06

Corky Carroll
He got caught inside on the first set. So it was just Chris and I don't know. We're out to sea. We're finally out past the waves, and it's a gray, kind of almost rainy afternoon, and nobody's around. We're out there. We're scared. And it's like a couple of hours go by, and I'm kind of hoping a boat will come by or something that we can wave them down, because I didn't want to try to catch a waiver paddle back in there. But now it's getting, like, 03:00, and it's going to get dark at, like, six. Chris goes, what we going to do? I guess well, this is what we're going to do. We're going to wait for a set. As soon as the set is over, we're going to paddle as hard as we can as far in as we can because the sets are maybe 20 minutes apart, and maybe we can get in far enough that a wave will break and we can catch a big whitewater and credit to the beach. 


49:53

Corky Carroll
Okay, cool. So set finishes, we paddle as hard as we can for, like, 20 minutes, and a big set comes, but the first wave of the set is right where we are, and the next wave is like, let's take it. And so we took off on the first wave of the set, and it was really big, and Chris was in front, and I was in back. And I stood up to make the drop and he tried to do it, land down, and it were big bumps on the face of the wave because the wind was so hard, I kind of bounced down the face of the wave and kind of aimed towards the channel and proned out. And Chris got bounced off his board, dropping in, and his board like, almost hit me, whatever, in my head. And I was able to hold on in the white water and kind of deep water and prone the wave all the way in next to Chris's board. 


50:45

Corky Carroll
So I got in, got Chris's board, we got on the beach and Peter was on the beach and Chris is out there somewhere. He goes, what are we going to do? I hope he makes it in. So about 45 minutes later, he can swim in any smart enough. He stayed in the whitewater and swim in, but he was out, I mean, really far when he fell off. And that was the most terrifying surfing experience that I ever had. 


51:16

Greg Finch
Yeah, that deep. Just being out in that ocean part, knowing that swell is there and you kind of know where you are, that, of course, is an extreme example of that. But for surfers of any level. 


51:33

Corky Carroll
Slightly. 


51:34

Greg Finch
Outside that comfort zone and then it starts to go and you're in that open ocean, that feeling is the same. 


51:40

Corky Carroll
These waves were like twice, three times bigger than anything I'd ever seen at Yma Bay or Points earth Maca. It was really big, just the wind blown. There was like eight foot chops on the face of the waves. It was scary. 


51:55

Greg Finch
Yeah. So here I have this question that got submitted. So there's a little caveat in here. He says, not sure if it's true, so we'll go with that. Ask him about surfing Yma at night in 1968 with Jock Sutherland high on LSD. True or not true? 


52:20

Corky Carroll
Not true. 


52:23

Greg Finch
I had like four or five people comment on it saying, oh, man, that's going to be an awesome story if it's true. 


52:28

Corky Carroll
It wasn't night, it was daytime. 


52:38

Greg Finch
Care to expand on that story? 


52:41

Corky Carroll
Well, I just remember paddling out and you see like big water drops, like big Globulos, they look like abalone shells going, Whoa. The rest of the experience is pretty vague. 


52:59

Greg Finch
Yeah. I can only imagine the intensity of it being obviously it's why I may obey. And then things like depth perception, those being changed, this is a separate analogy almost, but a few years ago, not huge, but big focused for me. And I had just come off a head cold and so my ear wasn't clearing still and I got out in the water. Here I'm on the central coast of California and the water is always cold, so I'm always wearing a hood. And so that intensified that. So my equilibrium was off. And I remember having the intensity of trying to focus and trying to get away. And at this point I was just going to go back in and I was trying to get away. And the equilibrium being off and all of the senses being different. It was not just not really frightening, but it just threw me for everything. 


53:59

Greg Finch
Like everything I did, I had to be so focused and precise on. I'd imagine it'd be pretty similar, just everything changing depth wise. 


54:09

Corky Carroll
Yeah, I guess it's sort of all in your perception. Sometimes you're in an altered reality and you think you're like doing really cool. Man, I'm soulful. Whether you are or aren't in your own mind, that's pretty cool. Wow. 


54:33

Greg Finch
That was amazing. That was amazing what I just did. So what would you say all these decades surfing, still surfing, what would you say is the secret or kind of those important aspects of longevity in surfing, whether that's physical or mental or maintaining the stoke? What's important in there for longevity? 


55:03

Corky Carroll
Well, I guess all of that, but maintaining the stoke would probably be the most I mean, you know, I've had a lot of friends that were surfers along the way that phased out for one reason or another. Either it was like they were too busy with their job or they just physically couldn't do it anymore. Or the crowds got so bad that anger overweighed the stoke. One thing or another, I always tried to put myself in a position that I could serve whenever I want to. So I've sacrificed a lot of income in order to have ways to surf. I always had jobs, like working a surfer or whatever it was. I taught tennis for a while and I would wait table, whatever it was, so I could surf all the time, managed surf jobs because I always wanted the freedom to be able to surf. 


56:05

Corky Carroll
And thank goodness, I pretty much always been able to surf. I got lucky for a while. Like when I was doing Miller Light, it was like, I think eleven years or 13 years with them. It was like really good income. And so I could just book myself into a month in Tavaroo. I've always been able to surf. The only thing that holds me back now is just like I can't do it as much as I want to do it. Just because physical stuff, my back is kind of shot. I have spinal stenosis really bad, so it hurts, but it doesn't hurt enough to keep me from going out. But it got to the point where I had to switch to a stand up paddle board because I couldn't stand up, couldn't go in from lay down to stand up, and I didn't want to. It's like all sweepers. 


56:56

Corky Carroll
I never hope, I'm never going to be one of them. But then I became one and started liking it. You know what? This isn't really that bad. It's pretty cool actually. I think my SUP is better than any long board I ever had. It goes faster, it turns harder. You can ride the nose better. It isn't as good as a shortboard. I would rather be at the end of when I was prone surfing, I was on a 710 quad and for me it was a geezers shortboard. And now I'm on an 88 sub bonzer sub. So it's sort of like the most high performance that I can get at 75. The thing is fast and it feels really good. So it's, you know, I'm, you know, stoked. I just I'm dealing with a pacemaker and AFib. I weigh 874 pounds. 


58:01

Greg Finch
I'm definitely of the mind that whatever keeps me connected to the ocean, I'm in. If that's a raft, if that's body surfing, if that's like I just want to maintain that connection. I'll prone surf as long as I can, but being able to evolve for there and prepare to keep surfing and do that just the connection to the ocean. I mean, that's the part that it just makes me a better version of myself. It's just getting that feeling of being present in the ocean. So I'm of the school of however you can do that, do it well. 


58:37

Corky Carroll
What kind of got keeping me stoked is art. I painted a little bit in high school but never got serious about it. And then when I worked at Surfer Magazine, we moved into a new building and we had a bunch office space in the warehouse that nobody was using. And I was interested in doing airbrush, and so they let me set up an airbrush station back in the warehouse. So I started doing airbrush and ink paintings and I'd sell them in the gallery down at Dana Point Harbor. And I did pretty good with them and really liked it. But then when I left Surfer to do other things, I didn't have the space to do it, so I stopped painting. And I moved to Mexico 20 years ago. We're taking in guests that would come and stay with us, and I'd take them surfing and give them drinks and tell them stories. 


59:27

Corky Carroll
One of the guests was a painter and he left an Acrylic set with me. You want to try these? I go, sure. So he went and bought a couple of canvases and painted a couple of dumb pictures and, oh, that was kind of cool. And I'd hang them on the walls and every now and then somebody would buy one. Wow, that's really a cool painting. How much you want for that? I don't know, like $300. And I go, cool. And I started selling them, but I wasn't really all that serious about it. They were just kind of funky paintings. And I like doing them, so I did them. And maybe I'd sell five paintings, six paintings a year or something, but it was kind of cool. And then about actually it's about a year ago now, this time I was doing my surf adventure thing and I was doing it on every other month basis. 


01:00:18

Corky Carroll
I had sold my interest in our house at the beach and we had moved into extappa in our little house where we are now. I have my cave here. It's my art studio, music studio, closet and office. On one side I have art, and on the other side I have music. See the microphone stuff? Over here is a closet, over there is clothes, multipurpose. And I started getting to the point where it wasn't easy for me to do the surf adventures anymore because I couldn't take beginners out. I can't push people in their waves. And because of the hard stuff, I don't have the energy I had. I'm usually a one wave. I'll paddle out and I'll wait for a really good wave and I'll write it all the way in. Then I catch my breath. And so I felt I couldn't be as good a host as I was before. 


01:01:15

Corky Carroll
And I was really starting to paint a lot. I thought maybe I can segue into doing art. And I started getting serious about doing the art and phasing out of doing the surfing adventures. And so I started posting the paintings on my Facebook page and people started buying them. And so then I you know what, this is it. I'm going to phase out of my surfing adventure deal and become a full time surf artist. I do surf art for the most part, not always. And I stoked on it. I dream about surfing all the time now. I dream about painting. I get a painting in my mind. I wake up and it's like I come in here and I paint it and I'm really stoked on it. And so I'm as stoked now as I was 15 going surfing. I jump onto a canvas and it's the same thing as paddling out in the morning. 


01:02:17

Corky Carroll
It's like you don't know what's going to happen. Every canvas is different, every wave is different. Some like you get a glorious barrel and it's really cool. You come at the end, you go, yay, look what I painted. Some you hit the rocks and trash it or paint over it and do something else. Cool thing with painting is she can always paint over it. 


01:02:37

Greg Finch
It also has that similarity of presence. 


01:02:42

Corky Carroll
Too, that's hard to peel yourself off the rocks. 


01:02:44

Greg Finch
Yeah, it has that part where it just keeps you right in that moment. I don't paint, but I play music. It's really more just meditative for me as more than performance, but it just keeps me in that place. I would imagine that painting is similar to that surfing. To surf, you have to be right there. You can't be thinking about what you're going to do or what you have to take care of or you are you're just going to be right on the rocks. You have to be in. That moment. I would imagine painting would give you that same feeling of presence. Like, I need to be right in this experience right now. That's really powerful. 


01:03:21

Corky Carroll
Oh, exactly. You really got to concentrate. I mean, I'll just put on a little background music and just fully focus into it. A lot of times I'll paint with my headphones because I'm kind of deaf. I wear hearing AIDS, pops, a little music going and I'll paint. And my wife will be banging on the door and I want to hear, I've been calling you for 45 minutes. Oh, sorry, baby, you missed your music. And I sort of forgot to mention that I'm still playing music too. When I moved on here, I started playing in the local clubs and bars and stuff. And at first I was held a regular four night a week gig, but then that was too much because then I'd retired in the morning when I wanted to surf. So now I do dinner concerts. I'll play at a hotels or restaurants, and it'll be a dinner show deal, whether it be dinner. 


01:04:21

Corky Carroll
And I'll do like an hour and a half, two hour set and pretty much tell stories and combination of original stuff and covers. People want to hear songs they know. And I have a new album out on Darla records. Well, it's not new. It's about a few years old now called blue mango. And this sort of leads into another thing. When I came out with the album, one of the songs I had was a Blue Mango bar, and I was looking for a name for the album and I'll call Blue Mango. So came out with it and a friend of mine from the South Bay, Joel Saltman, was down visiting and he goes, Blue Mango is a good name. You ought to do something with it. And I go, like, what? And he goes, well, maybe like make it into a surf company, blue mango surf. 


01:05:12

Corky Carroll
And I go, that's a great idea, but I live in Zwatanao, Mexico. How am I going to do that? And he goes, well, I don't know. Why don't you do it? And he goes, great idea. We'll be partners. And so he put together blue mango surf company, and I give him ideas and he follows through on them. And we got a shaper Jose Barrajano, which is one of the great shapers. And we have blue mango surfboards. We have t shirts, we have hats. So Blue mango surf has become a company and it's fledgling. But we're doing okay because we do like custom boards. There's no pop outs or anything. People order boards and we can't shape them. And I designed a bunch of boards and we got Mike Purpose on board. He's with us. We do these kind of legend series where Mike and I will design a board, and it's doing pretty good. 


01:06:10

Corky Carroll
So Blue mango has sort of become a thing, and I sort of got blue mango. I got art and still play music. And I'm still involved in the surf adventure business. I turned it over to the guy that bought my share of the house, speed dog, John Ford, and he's running Corky Carroll Surf Adventures. Or now it's Costa. They surf. Surf adventures. But I still show up, have dinner with a guest, drink, tell stories, and maybe paddle out and surf a wave or two with them. Or if they want, I'll watch them surf and give them some tips. A lot of people want surf coaching, some people didn't. When I was doing that at first I just assumed everybody did. Remember this one guy went, he paddled in and he went, if you did this and he goes, I don't need coaching, I've surf for 30 years. 


01:07:02

Corky Carroll
And he got kind of upset, so I stopped offering it unless somebody asked for it. 


01:07:08

Greg Finch
You're like, whoa, okay. 


01:07:12

Corky Carroll
I'd really like to be a better nose writer. What can I do? Put your weight on your front, whatever it was. I'm still involved with the surf adventure business and I paint and you can buy my paintings, they're all for sale. Just check my Facebook pages and I'm on Instagram too, our quirkysurf@aol.com and get a hold of me. 


01:07:35

Greg Finch
We'll put links in of Corky's Facebook page and Instagram and ways to get a hold of him and the things that he's doing. And some of his art up there too. Yeah, that's beautiful. 


01:07:47

Corky Carroll
Just at that one. 


01:07:50

Greg Finch
And you're painting it most every day. How long do you generally it's going to flex, but you start with an empty canvas and you come and you finish a piece of art. How long does it usually take you, that arc? 


01:08:03

Corky Carroll
It all depends. I like to paint in the morning first thing. And so generally my day will be I'll wake up, I'll check my messages, I do a Facebook post every morning, get my coffee and I start painting. And I pretty much will paint until one or 02:00. And then I'll take my siesta. Maybe I'll come back and paint a little bit more early evening and then hang out with my wife and watch TV or whatever we do. And sometimes I'll play music. I'll maybe paint a little bit and then I'll be at a certain place in a painting where I need to stop because I do a lot of wet and dry stuff where I blend and I need everything to be wet, but then something has to dry. So my table that I paint on is my guitar cave. I just move the paints and break out my guitar strap on it and I can just turn around and right over there is my mic and all my stuff I can plug in. 


01:09:15

Corky Carroll
And all my songs are recorded into a box. And so my guitar and me are live and all of my songs I have recorded. So I can pull up whatever songs I want to do and practice. So I keep my set up. I have about 30 songs I do when I play live. I have about 50, but I do about 30 at a time, so I keep up my main songs. So probably in the course of a week, I will paint 6 hours a day, play music 2 hours a day, sleep an hour or two a day for my nap. The rest of the time, eat, hang out with my wife. My wife's a zumba teacher, so she's off teaching zumba classes a lot. So we sort of do our same stuff, our own stuff during the daytime and then merge at about six or 07:00 for night. 


01:10:17

Corky Carroll
Sometimes I drive her to zumba. 


01:10:19

Greg Finch
Sounds pretty good. You worked yourself into a pretty nice set up there. 


01:10:25

Corky Carroll
Yeah, really happy. Really happy right now with everything. My wife's amazing. She's beautiful, and I'm loving doing the paintings and playing the music. And I can still surf a little bit and it's pretty good. As far as how long it takes me to do a painting, sometimes 3 hours, sometimes a week. It just depends on how intricate it is. 


01:10:52

Greg Finch
Corky, thank you so much for being part of the surf strong show. I really do appreciate you taking the time. It's been great just chatting with you and getting to know a little bit more about you. And I'm stoked that you are where you are. You're living the dream, my friend. That's what we're all striving for. Put our days together and fill it with creative output and be connected to the ocean. Thanks so much. 


01:11:17

Corky Carroll
My pleasure. 

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