Tommy Carroll is a truly remarkable skateboarder and human being. He uses only sound to shred. Blind since age 2, he has no other choice. He has to predict what’s ahead based upon what’s currently under his wheels.
“I’m constantly using the sound of my wheels to check if there is anything in my way and get my sense of direction,” he says in the short video above produced for Perry Sport. Carroll, of Glenview, Illinois, lost his sight due to bilateral retinal blastoma, or cancer of the retinas. It hasn’t kept him from doing an activity that most in his situation would never dare to do.
“Falling is a skill that you get good at,” he says. Carroll falls like any other skater. Like most skaters, he prefers the park when its empty. When nobody is around, there are fewer external sounds to block out. There are fewer skaters in his way. That’s why he shows up earlier than everyone else, and sometimes later. Unlike most skaters, Carroll doesn’t mind skating in the dark.
“I think what’s really fun about skateboarding,” Carroll says in the video above, “when you get something new and kind of scary, when you finally land that scary thing, and you feel that tension release, that’s one of the better feelings, one of the biggest adrenaline rushes you’ll ever experience.” Tommy’s story is truly an inspiration for all Adrenalists to be brave in the face of adversity, and never let a challenge hold you back.