Cool Flo Rider: Introducing Tom Dixon-Smith
Posted on October 18 2019
We’re excited to announce that professional surfer Tom Dixon-Smith is joining the Cool Flo Riders! As he starts his debut year, the Cool Flo Collective will follow Tom as he takes on the renowned World Qualifying Series.
The 18 year-old is about to hit the surfing world by storm. Starting his first year as a professional surfer, he’s 100% committed to his dream of competing on the world stage in the prestigious Men’s World Championship Tour. But the wave to world title is a long and treacherous one, designed to test the surfers to the max. There are no short-cuts on this current…
The top 1,600 surfers around the world will compete in the World Qualifying Series over the next few years. Only the top 34 ranking surfers will have a spot on the World Championship Tour, so competition is fierce! Tom will have to accumulate as many points as possible by attending as many events as he can. Wave after wave, he’ll progress up the leaderboard with the hope of nabbing one of those oh-so-elusive spots in the World Championship Tour for a shot at the world title!
We have total faith in Tom. In 2017, he entered competitions to get a feel for the career he was about to dedicate his life to. After surfing just 2 events, Tom soared from the bottom of the rankings to 896th out of 1,600 in the world, and 140th out of 221 athletes in the Australian region!
As a Cool Flo Rider, Tom will be part of the Cool Flo family as he lives a life on the road, moving from event to event. With Dad as his mentor and photographer, we’re reminded of how important family and friends are when living the outdoor lifestyle. Here with Tom, we talk waves, rides, passions, and his future in the surfing world.
Tell us a bit about yourself, Tom
I’m 18, and I was born in South Africa but have lived most of my life in New Zealand. I now live half the year in Gisbourne, New Zealand, and the other half in the Mentawai Islands in Indonesia. The surfing spots in the Mentawai Islands are great for training for the World Qualifying Series. My family and I relocated to the islands so that I could pursue my dream of competing professionally as a surfer. They’ve been a huge part of this process.
What got you into surfing, and when did you start?
I started surfing at the early age of four when dad pushed me into a wave, and from then I was hooked!
Who’s been your biggest surfing inspiration?
Andy Irons inspires me a lot because he always had such aggressive lines that most people wouldn't take. Clay Marzo also inspires me a lot because he's so progressive. Mick Fanning and Taj Burrow inspire me because of the speed and flare in their surfing.
What are your career highlights?
Winning a National event at the age of 10
Placing 3rd in the national high schools competition in 2015
Finishing 5th on the New Zealand national circuit in 2014
Silver medal in the New Zealand Scholastics event
Any tips for those looking to start out in surfing?
The most important thing is to have fun! That's the main thing that's going to bring you back, and keep you going.
Please describe your favourite trick
Favourite trick? It’s got to be either big barrels or big carves. But, if it wasn't for barrels, I probably wouldn't even surf.
What are your other lifestyle hobbies, besides surfing?
Fishing, spear fishing, and anything to do with the ocean honestly. Being outside in nature is an absolute must. I always prefer being outdoors and doing something adventurous.
What events are you most looking forward to this year and why?
Definitely Krui in South Sumatra, it’s such a fun, long wave to surf and in such an isolated location - it’s a real paradise. I’m looking forward to most of the events in Indonesia though. It’s always good to surf in home waters.
What’s the best thing about riding for Cool Flo?
You become a part of this family and you feel very welcome. You get that feeling right from the start.
Do you have a favourite Cool Flo item?
The classic script sweatshirt - I love the classic look.
Finally, if you had access to a Cool Flo camper van for a month, which one would you take, and where would you go?
For a month, I’d definitely take the 1969 VW Microbus. And I'd probably want to go on a solo mission to somewhere remote, where most people wouldn't go, like Alaska - I've seen some amazing photos of that place.
Tom is one to watch in the coming years. He’s an inspiring young man with a huge future ahead of him, and we at Cool Flo can’t wait to see where his surfing career takes him! You can see more of Tom’s rad wave work on his Facebook and Instagram, and as you can see, the photography work is astounding!
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