Stab Magazine | How Leo Fioravanti Put His Shoulder -- And Career -- Back in Place

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How Leo Fioravanti Put His Shoulder — And Career — Back in Place

Plagued by injuries throughout his career, new doco illustrates how tough the Italian is. 

cinema // Dec 10, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

It ain’t easy being Leo Fioravanti. Rather than his career being defined by competitive successes, the Italian’s unfortunately become more reputed for his ability to battle back from near career-ending injuries. When he was only 17 years old he broke two vertebrae while competing at the Volcom Pipe Pro. That easily could have been the end for him.

This year it was his shoulder. Dislocating his wing after an errant air in the Newcastle QS, he hobbled through the first three CT comps before the guillotine came down on him at The Box.

It took surgery and four months of recovery out of the water, but Leo trained like Rocky Balboa and by the time the Quik Pro landed in Hossegor in October he was back in the water, and with a semifinal finish, back in form. A new Red Bull documentary, “All In The Mind,” details the journey.

Takeaways from the doco? Leo’s got the grit of a heavyweight prizefighter. Also, when surfers like Leo or John John Florence get hurt, they’d be best served letting their injuries properly heal than forcing a comeback too early. Both were given the option of surgery after their respective injuries. Leo attempted to let it heal naturally before going under the knife. “The doctors told me I would be out of the water for at least five months, but I was able to get back in three,” Leo told Stab yesterday. “I didn’t drink during the recovery and just focused my mind on getting back into the water. It’s all in your state of mind, if you put the effort in and believe you can come back just as strong you can do it.” 

With the Pipe Masters kicking off in healthy surf, it’s going to be great to see what Leo brings. He’s certainly not afraid of packing barrels. 

Documentary by Francesco Thilo Sili


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