Stab Magazine | Owen Wright Releases Injury Update

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Owen Wright Releases Injury Update

“It was a total blur. I was a bit freaked out…”

news // Jul 5, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Former world number three, Owen Wright, has released a statement via his Facebook regarding his recovery from a serious head injury suffered at Pipeline last year. 

“Thought I’d update you guys on the injury. After finishing a treatment I came out wondering what the hell had happened in the last 6 months… it was a total blur. I was a bit freaked out but was feeling strangley good. Doctors assured me that it was normal at this stage and that I have turned a massive corner and I’m on the right track to 100% recovery. For the last couple months ive been adapting to this stage in my life… everything that has happened since this experience has given me total differnet feeling to my life that I’m incredibly grateful for.

Ps I’m back surfing a short board… yew” he wrote. 

While preparing for the season-ending Pipe Masters last year Owen caught a wave at Pipe that saw him trapped on the inside as a heavy Hawaiian pulse bared down on him. Somewhere in the carnage he sustained a blow to the head. He returned to the Rip Curl house and took a nap, waking shortly after in a bad way. 

“He came in and felt weird and couldn’t really speak or anything… It was like his body was completely out of fuel, it was pretty scary looking,” world number one, Matt Wilkinson told us at the time. 

 An ambulance scooped him from the house shortly after and following a medical evaluation, it was determined he had a severe concussion and minor bleeding in the brain. 


Soon Mr Wright, soon. Photo: Rod Owen.

He posted his first injury update three months ago via instagram after his first surf.  

“I went for my first surf a couple days ago,” he said. “It was the funnest thing in the world. Funny thing is… I couldn’t get to my feet. So I just laid there. It was about knee high and the drop was… well, there was none but it felt like I was dropping into 10-foot Teahupo’o. I finished the wave and I was so stoked I let out a hoot and claimed it and high-fived Kita (his gorgeous lady-friend).

“Five mins later I was on the beach,” he continued, “and started to think about what I actually did and started comparing it to what I used to be like or what everybody else was doing out there… and started to question why cant I. This started to ruin my experience and change how I really felt.”

“It made me realise that self-improvement is necessary but to focus on comparison of what used to be, what others can do or why you’re not good enough is detrimental to the now; negative emotion in yourself will hinder improvement and happiness. Simple statement…. challenging to practice.”

Owen is still listed as a World Tour competitor for 2016. It is understood he will make a full recovery and return to competition at some point in the future. He released this statement back in February after withdrawing from the first half of the WSL season:

“It’s disappointing to have to withdraw from the opening events of the year, but the important thing is to ensure that I am 100 percent healthy for when I return to that level of competition.

“I’ve been working regularly with top specialists in the country and they’ve given me a lengthy rehabilitation time before I’m able to feel normal again and a period of time after that before they’re confident I can perform at the elite level without additional risk. Head injuries are tricky in terms of mapping out recovery time and it’s possible that I may not be able to pull the jersey on all year. I want to thank my family, friends, fans, sponsors and the WSL for their ongoing support.


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