This morning, during a session at Yamba’s Spooky Point, Wade Goodall went over the falls and broke his leg. Amazingly, it’s on the opposite side of the bay from where he broke his other leg two years ago. Snapping your leg in a small surf town with no big hospital ain’t ideal, and meant that Wade had to travel to Lismore hospital, which is an hour and a half away.
The injury comes after a coupla months of brilliance for Wade. He’s recently started tagging along as tow buddy with good pal Laurie Towner, who lives in Yamba (where Wade’s been staying recently). So naturally, Loz was in the water when things went bad today. When Stab dialled in with Laurie, he was only just leaving Lismore hospital, after waiting in the emergency room with Wade all day. Exhaustion and a disbelief coated his tone, but he knows his buddy is tough enough to deal with the blow.
Stab: Laurie! What happened?
Laurie Towner: Wade broke his femur! And it’s not even the same leg that he broke last time, it’s his other leg, up the top. He did it at Spooky Point. It’s literally the other side of the bay from where he broke his leg two years ago. I can’t believe it. I watched it happen. The waves weren’t big, it was just kinda heavy, really low tide and sucky. It didn’t even look that bad, he was taking off, wasn’t going to make it and just pin dropped from the lip. He mustn’t have penetrated the water, then got sucked over and just slammed the bottom really hard. He said he slammed it really straight-legged.
Were you front row? I was already in the impact zone ’cause I went the wave before it, and he popped up right near me, looked at me and just said, “I’ve broken my leg.” Straight away I thought it was the same leg again, but it wasn’t. Me and Ben Ross (Dan Ross’ older bro) were the only other ones out and we grabbed him, pushed him in, and carried him up the beach laying on his board. Then the ambulance came and took him away.
You’re certainly no stranger to heavy situations in the water. Basically if someone gets badly hurt there’s not much we can do, other than get them in, get them to a safe spot, get them warm and make sure they don’t go into shock. The ambulance comes and they have this crazy little splint thing that they do now. Because it was his femur, your leg shortens a bit ’cause it’s twisted. They use this pulley thing – they’ve gotta fully drug him up first – then they put this splint on him and pull this pulley thing, and it pulls his bone apart so the pieces aren’t rubbing against each other. It makes it a little less uncomfortable, but watching them do that and twist his leg back…
How rattled was he? He was pretty calm this time compared to last time. I mean, last time he was calm too, and he was in a lot of pain both times, but this time because he’s been through it, he was pretty relaxed. He’s a tough fella. He wasn’t whinging at all. It was pretty funny, ’cause he always cracks jokes, he’s always in high spirits. It’s gonna rattle him, though. He did his other leg two years ago now and realistically, he was only just coming completely good. We went surfing yesterday and he was doing some of the biggest, craziest airs, looking really good, then this fucking happens.
Lucky he didn’t go to lil’ old Maclean hospital. Yeah. Lismore’s a big hospital and there’s a lot of staff, most people go there, so it was packed. We were there all day waiting. We were in the emergency and there was a lot going on. They were really busy and they told us Wade wasn’t even going to get operated on today, but luckily they squeezed him in. He’d be in there right now, as we speak. I’m only just on my way home (5:15pm), I’ve been up there since 8am.
How’s this differ to last time? Last time he broke his left leg down near his ankle, and that was a compound fracture, sticking out of the skin and hanging there, a really bad break. This time he’s completely snapped his femur, but it was in the other leg and wasn’t compound. It’s just as bad really, it just wasn’t poking out of his skin. Last time he did at Green Point lefts, this little novelty wave, which is only just the opposite side of the bay from where he did it this morning, at Spooky Point ledge. Last time, he did it right around the second State of Origin game (June 15, 2011; it’s now July 30, 2013). I can’t believe it. I don’t understand. He was just starting to come really good.
Right when the world’s hottest new big wave team have started to turn it on! He’s just had a hell run! And it would’ve continued. I can’t believe it, it’s fucked up. So wild. Especially after coming through a Shipsterns and Chopes swell unscathed. And he got pumped during both those sessions and he was sweet. It’s always the way, you get hurt in waves under five foot, when you’re not expecting it.
Are you ever gonna get him to surf down there again? I don’t know if he’ll ever wanna look at that bay ever again. I mean, he loves it so much there, but I can’t believe it’s happened twice so close to each other. – Elliot Struck