Stab Magazine | Koa Rothman Could Have Died, But He Didn't

Koa Rothman Could Have Died, But He Didn’t

How a nine-foot board cracked the smile of one of the North Shore’s golden sons. 

Words by stab

A few weeks ago, Koa Rothman was victim to a ditched board. It happened while surfing with Nathan Florence and Billy Kemper at a break that he told Stab, “I’m not really allowed to say where it is. The locals would get pretty angry with me.”

Anyway, back to the incident that could have killed him. It’s been covered. Someone contributing to Surfline filmed it from the channel, sent it to the premier surf forecasting site, who slapped on a 15-second ad promoting a game called “War Thunder”, which I’ve watched about 90 total seconds of while waiting to re-watch the video. And that’s fine, ads are money, money is time and families need to be fed (and it’s not like we’ve never thrown an ad on a clip). By now, it’s making it rounds across surf media. We all cover the same general news stories and aren’t worried about some missile in North Korea–although, the New York Times said we should–because this is surfing. Speaking of which, did you see Jay Davies’ new film? Or hear the latest in the Amelia Earhart mystery? 

To watch the clip ad free I could’ve easily just gone to their Instagram (which I took the liberty to embed above). But there’s something about full screening a nine-foot gun cascading from the lip, tail first into a man’s jaw moments before he high lines from a tube at an undisclosed location. Anyone who has watched Sasha Grey or surfing can attest that the full 18-inch laptop screen effect beats that of an iPhone 6s. “I got lucky,” he continued. “Just a sprained neck and some broken teeth,” five to be exact; he ate them, out of impact and necessity. “I’ll be out for two more weeks.” 

Other than his teeth, the crook neck and concussion, he came out mostly unscathed. He told the site that broke this news first, he thought he crushed his eye socket and was in shock that the guy who bailed the board told him there was nothing wrong with his face. Upon further review, the man didn’t need to ditch his board and far as the man goes, Koa told them, “I don’t know who he was. I remember he was saying, ‘sorry,’ but he had a helmet and booties, so I didn’t really see his face. I’m not mad, I’m just happy I’m not worse. Like blind or dead or something.” Watch the video again. Gasp. And let’s all agree, yeah, he could’ve died. 


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