Owen Wright returns to the water after serious brain injury
"It was the funnest thing in the world. The funny thing is... I couldn't get to my feet"
Owen Wright, as has been highly covered, suffered a severe head injury prior to the Pipe Masters. The cat was in the title race and during the freesurfs leading up to the event, he looked fit to win it. After a serious flogging the day before the comp, he went back to the Rip Curl house and took a nap. Owen woke up disoriented with limited movement. An ambulance scooped him from the house mid-day and after a medical evaluation, it was determined he had a severe concussion and minor bleeding in the brain.
In a heart felt, and emotionally wrenching Insta post yesterday he had this to say on his current struggle to regain his feet:
"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."
Back in Feb, Owen withdrew from at least the first half of the WSL season. Stating:
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.