If there is one positive to take from this, it's that the shoulder-flopper had the courtesy to grip his stick. (Click the right arrow for full sequence)
Will Skudin Is A Bona Fide Board Magnet
Get this man a Gath!
When Mike 'Nelly' Nelson sent over the sequence of NY big-waver, Will Skudin, getting conked in the head, mid-tube, by a beginner's mid-length, the Stab office shared a collective chortle.
"He's ok though, right?"
"Uhhhh... yeah. I mean I think..."
"We should probably make sure of that before we post it."
And so we did.
Stab: Will! Tell us your noggin is still intact after that involuntary tube soiree...
Will: You mean the one last week? Yeah I learned from last time and put a hand up to protect myself. I probably should have just pulled through the back, but that wave was just too good.
Baaaack it up real quick. Did you say 'last time'? As in this has happened more than once?
Yeah, the same thing happened exactly one week before the sequence you saw, except on a shittier wave. That time I wasn't so lucky, and ended up getting ten stitches in my head. Hold on, I'll send over the footage.
Jesus man, what's going on over there?
Summertime in New York! Can't beat it. [laughs]
So what's the story with the sequence?
Well, the guy who hit me is actually a friend of mine, but he's a beginner-to-intermediate surfer. The funny thing is that before paddling out, we were both hanging on the beach together, and he was like "What do you think? Can I handle it out there?" And I totally did it to myself, I was like "Yeah man you got this!" [laughs].
This is comically tragic!
Yeah so we paddled out together, and I called him into one that he said was the wave of his life, so he was really stoked. Then he got another one that I didn't see, and then my wave came through...
And you just couldn't pass it up?
It was the best wave I'd seen all day, so there was no way I couldn't go. I started pumping through the tube saw him in my path, but I thought maybe there was a chance I could squeeze past. Of course that wasn't the case, so his board clipped my arm, and when I came up I kinda snapped on him. Then I went to the beach, regained composure, and within 15 minutes we were laughing about it together, looking at the footage. No harm, no foul.
I was impressed he held onto his board.
Yeah, he definitely tried. I gotta give it to him for trying. The guy from the week before let his board go, and I ended up getting pretty hurt. If my buddy would have let his board go, I would be back in the hospital.
So, would you say it's more dangerous to surf small waves than big?
Right now, 100% it is more dangerous surfing small waves, in the summer, in New York, than it is surfing big waves. My buddies have been joking like "Hey Will did you order you Gath helmet for the next swell?" It's pretty funny.