Bede Durbidge Just Returned To Competitive Surfing Like A Boss At The Hawaiian Pro Today
With big open face hacks after almost 12 months on the sidelines with a shattered pelvis.
Bede Durbidge returned to competitive surfing in style at the Haleiwa Hawaiian Pro today, almost a year after suffering a near career-ending injury at the 2015 Pipe Masters. He opened his account in round three with a trademark oily hook, followed by two jams in the pocket for a 7.17. The silken attack showed he has lost little since the injury, though he couldn’t find a follow up wave and lost out to Floridian Evan Geiselman in the battle for second place.
“It’s just so cool to be back,” said Bede after the heat.
"I was bummed after the heat because I didn’t get through, but then I was just sitting there and I went 'you know what I’m happy just to be here surfing heats with a jersey on.'"
“It could have ended my career. It was a pretty horrific wipeout, and a lot of therapy to get back to where I am now, a lot of hard work, and yeah just got through it and I’m just stoked to be here in Hawaii.”
Durbidge’s pelvis was broken in two places following a vicious beating at Pipeline last year. The injury would require two pieces of metal bolted across the front and back of the pelvis with surgeons likening it to that suffered in a high-speed, head-on car crash.
Durbidge was confined to a wheelchair for weeks following the injury resulting in muscle atrophy, bone wastage. Once he set out on the long road to rehabilitation he was also confronted with crippling bouts of fatigue.
In total he lost three kilos of lean muscle mass and four percent of his bone density. He returned to surfing this July on a large single fin before transitioning to a shortboard.
He was careful not to rush his comeback, however, on the advice of good friend, Mick Fanning, who suffered a supposedly “career-ending” injury in 2004 prior to winning three world titles.
“He said whatever you do, take it easy,” Durbidge told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
In the interim Durbidge helped coach Hawaiian John John Florence to a world title and performed commentary for the World Surf League broadcast. He also launched a beer brewing company, Balter, with mates Joel Parkinson, Mick Fanning and Josh Kerr. The 2007 Triple Crown champion has pledged to return to surfing Pipeline and will take part in the Sunset World Cup of surfing beginning next week.