Stab Magazine | Charity surf event held in surfer's honour

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Charity surf event held in surfer’s honour

Last weekend 1500 friends, family and well-wishers, including three-time world champ, Andy Irons turned out to raise money for Cabarita surfer, Sam Ford. The 18 year old was left with permanent and severe brain damage following an incident outside a Gold Coast nightclub last October. Childhood friend and pro surfer, Chippa Wilson tells us about […]

news // Feb 22, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Last weekend 1500 friends, family and well-wishers, including three-time world champ, Andy Irons turned out to raise money for Cabarita surfer, Sam Ford. The 18 year old was left with permanent and severe brain damage following an incident outside a Gold Coast nightclub last October. Childhood friend and pro surfer, Chippa Wilson tells us about the day, what affect Sam’s story has had on the community and how it’s changed the lives and minds of his friends since.

Stab: Tell us about Sam’s story.

Chippa:I was in America when it happened and found out about it when I jumped on Facebook and saw all these Facebook updates. He had just turned 18. It was one of his first times out when it happened. Heavy shit. They were out at Coolangatta and he went to get his girlfriend who had been dropped off in town. And was involved in an incident outside. The court date is next month. I won’t say anything else because I wasn’t here when it happened.

And his injuries?

He’s brain damaged. He can’t talk yet but he’s getting better. He can smile now and is able to eat real food.

How has the girlfriend dealt with it?

His chick is amazing. She goes up there everyday and sits alongside the bed in the hospital. She’s probably the strongest person I’ve ever known. It’s crazy, it hasn’t even changed the

way she feels about him. You know, at her age, she could do other things but she’s hanging in there and helping look after him and getting through it. I live next door to the Ford family, so she’s always coming over and talking about it. It’s hard to describe how she feels. She is going through it every day, taking it day by day. You can tell, like when anything comes up, like a song they liked when they were together, it just brings her to her knees. She breaks down all the time but who wouldn’t.

How was the day?

We got fun waves. We thought it was gonna be 50 foot all week (due to TC Ului) but it didn’t happen and we got waves. There were 120 people in the comp surfing. And another 1200 people down the beach. Andy Irons came down in the afternoon and got on the mike for a bit of commentary. He’s a legend. We even got Sam a disabled Taxi and brought him down to the comp for an hour. There wasn’t a dry eye on the beach. It was amazing. Fighting is very much ingrained in youth culture today.

Have mates in your crew ever belted anyone and how has this changed them?

Yeah I’m sure they have. There were a lot of fights up until just recently and we weren’t aware of the consequences at all. We’d have parties all the time, and people would be getting punched out and what not. You’d think nothing of it. When this happens to one of your mates, it changes everything. It’s crazy to see [some of the noted brawlers] mellow out so much. If someone had picked them they would have started brawling. But through talk and word of mouth it’s spread and it’s not the thing to do to hit anyone anymore. You just walk away if you get picked. But it’s hard. It’s different every time. It depends on how much the dude wants to attack you. Sometimes you can’t get out of it. Even if you don’t agree with them, just get out of there, you know.

What’s the intended message from this contest and whole ordeal?

To raise awareness about how a little brawl can affect a life so much. And to raise a fair bit of money for Sam and his family.-Jed Smith

 

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