Kirra Horror Story: “I Heard My Spine Crunch And Crack”
“I knew I had broken my back straight away.”
Unless you’ve been on social hiatus, you’d be aware that according to Joel Parkinson, Kirra’s been “the best it’s been in years.”
There’s no need to review the events that have taken place since Cyclone Gita came to town. We’ve got all the photos and ridiculous motion viewing you’ll need to see, here. Everything from Darren Handley’s spectacular jet ski slam, to Parko’s endless melter, Mark Mathews return to the tube and more.
As the growing list of lengthier edits featuring skis, crowds and overhead drainers spill out onto the internet, so do the personal recounts from those on the ground.
Central Coast turned Byron Bay local, Max Tough, made the short trip over the border to snatch a slice of the Gita pie on Sunday afternoon. He scratched out into the lineup, scooped in to a wide one, saw the vision, then promptly had himself pile-driven into the hard packed sand bed. He heard a snap and thought the worst.
(A brief aerial glimpse of what Kirra’s been offering for the past several days, featuring Joel Parkinson, Gezza Blake, Jethro Lyons and another unknown warrior. Video: Alex Bowden)
Stab got him on the line to talk through the ordeal:
“I was paddling back out after getting a nice one in front of the groin and next thing I know this wider set comes through in front of that hotel with the arch and it caught a few people out of position.
I started getting excited seeing it lining up and drawing off the bank. I knew it was the one.
As I came off the bottom I looked up and thought to myself “fuck yeah! This is real Kirra!”
I started to stand tall in this six-foot below-sea-level cavern. Then the bloody thing decided to chandelier and I fell forward onto my belly. I didn’t get time to penetrate, only enough time to curl up in a ball to protect myself.
I got slammed soooo fucking hard on my tail bone. The wave pushed my legs out wide into the splits position, my head scraped along the sand and I heard my spine crunch and crack.
I knew I had broken my back straight away.
I was so winded that I didn’t get a chance to take a breath for the following three waves.
(MT, swinging left in a different part of the world late last year)
As soon as my breath came back so did the pain. I was screaming in agony. No one was around to help as I was getting washed way up the beach.
I couldn’t paddle fast enough to catch the white water, so I took it one painful stroke at a time until I washed up at this families feet screaming for help. I wanted to see if I could stand up to rule out serious damage. I took two steps and my legs buckled but it gave me enough confidence that I was going to be fine just by taking those two steps.
They ran and got the lifeguards who took great care of me before the ambulance arrived and gave me the green whistle and maxed me out on morphine which felt like it did nothing due to the fact that I was in complete spasm.
I’m in hospital up on the Goldie with a broken back fracturing two vertebrae. Just waiting to get my MRI scans for more detailed results.
Looking like I will be in a brace for 6-12 weeks which means I can’t drive. And no work for a minimum of three months, no surfing for 6 months.
I am so thankful that it’s not worse. The wave could of easily chosen to slam me on my head but it chose to give me a second chance. It all happened so quick, I had no control.
Pretty hectic but I’m in good spirits.”
Stab wishes the appropriately named, Mr Tough, all the best in his involuntary time out of the water. Injuries suck, but the vision he had moments before his back was snapped in two will likely keep him sane throughout his recovery.
Hero video by Jesse Little.
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