Sometimes A Blown Eardrum Is The Best Medicine - Stab Mag

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Sometimes A Blown Eardrum Is The Best Medicine

Simon Hetrick’s 10-minute ode to barrels, punk rock, and sideburns.

elsewhere // Nov 23, 2022
Words by Christian Bowcutt
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Why do some things have to be taken away to be loved fully again? 

Injuries are a part of what we do and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Time out of the water… lit a fire under my ass to come back & surf,” says East Coast surfer Simon Hetrick.

Last year, Simon ruptured his eardrum. This is normally a quick patch-up. But as someone whose ears have endured a lifetime of the Atlantic’s frigid temps and signature strong winds, Hetrick’s “surfer’s ear” complicated the surgery. This led to months of vertigo and a difficult recovery. 

As someone who has done his share of time out of the water, I know how a surf sabbatical can turn into a sort of existential crisis. Your identity — which has long been anchored to your surf addiction — panics. 

Simon and McQuangus on the REVAMPED tour — yes, Simon has suffered another surf-omitting injury.

But Simon avoided the landlocked rebranding debacle. He was able to focus on music with his band, Crusader, and play a number of shows. He also planned trips to Portugal, Hawaii, and all over the East Coast in preparation for his return to the water. 

“Revamp”, Hetrick’s latest edit, compiles the best of these trips. We often wonder how East Coast guys get so good at barrel-riding. Think Cory Lopez, the Hobgoods, and of course, Kelly. This edit answers part of the equation — the East Coast has barrels. Heavy, imperfect ones. Arguably heavier and more imperfect than the West Coast’s predictable palate. It’s not bad preparation, however inconsistent it might be. Maybe East Coasters have a competitive advantage we haven’t fully recognized.


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