Stab Magazine | Leo Fioravanti Discusses His Split Face, Hospitalisation and 20 Stitches Days Before US Open

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Leo Fioravanti Discusses His Split Face, Hospitalisation and 20 Stitches Days Before US Open

“My head looks like a UFC fighter’s!” 

news // Jul 26, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Leo arrived in Surf City, USA…the soul of So Cal, Friday evening for his first ever US Open appearance. The surf was fun Saturday morning, a decent run of south mixed with the NW wind swell, it was shoulder high and peaky. Leo went for a surf. “I had a closeout section and went to kick out the back,” he tells Stab. “I jumped off, my leash outstretched and shot the board back at me. It hit me straight in the face. My head looks like a UFC fighter’s right now. I have a huge black eye and my ear’s swollen.” Picture a cauliflower ear with upwards of twenty stitches in the place of his sideburns (or just look at the photo) and you get his current facial setup. The kid’s has a tendency to go down hard and come back with clenched fists. During the Volcom Pipe Pro in 2015, he went over the falls and broke his back. “I just worked out for six months,” he says on his recovery. “Did some physical therapy and got back in the water.” Today, he’s number one on the QS. 

Leo HEad

“I had a tough day free surfing at Huntington yesterday. I got my own fin to the head and ended up needing 20 stitches internal and external!! Thanks for all the best wishes everyone. Going to do everything in my power to be ready to surf my heat on Tuesday!!”- Leo posted to his IG

“I have 12/13 stitches on the outside and seven or so on the inside,” he says. “They didn’t give me an exact number. I spent the whole day and night at the hospital.”

Leo’s had two results on the CT this year including a big quarterfinal finish at Margaret River (lost to Julian Wilson) and a round three exit at Rio to Filipe Toledo.

FillWyI3NjUiLCI1MTIiXQ QS 2016 RadicalTimesWA LeoFioravanti Bosko 0321

The pride of Italian surfing, sir Leo Fioravanti. Photo: Bosko

Mr Fioravanti’s determined to make his heat tomorrow; the starting bell rings around lunch time. “I don’t want to miss this event,” he continues. “Because it looks like the events in Brazil are going to be canceled.” On the WSL website the stops in Brazil say “tentative”. Last year there were payment issues for the winners and workers at Brazil’s last two QS stops: Florianopolis and Maresais.

“I’m gonna see the doctor tomorrow morning and figure out how we can cover it up,” says Leo. “I’ll make the call in the morning; I’m probably going to surf.”

The US Open is a spectacle but in between the chaos, piss-drunk teens, body paint and rare surf spectator, there is a contest. I asked Leo what the strangest thing he’s seen so far at the open, “my face,” he laughs. “I haven’t been back to sand since.”


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