One eyed surfer ready to charge Rip Curl Pro at Bells
Airey’s Inlet surfer Seb Hanson-Boyd will overcome the loss of sight in one eye after a surfing accident four months ago to compete at next week’s Rip Curl Pro.
The 17-year-old high school student’s sight was permanently damaged when his surfboard struck him in the right eye after a wipeout on a wave at Airey’s Inlet.
“I fell off and resurfaced and pulled the board toward me with my leg rope and the nose of the board went into my eye,” Seb said.
“I didn’t realise how fragile your eyes were until this happened.”
However, Seb shrugged off the horrific injury in a quick return to his favourite sport.
“I still go surfing every day,” he said.
“It feels a bit weird but it wasn’t that big of a change.”
Seb will compete in the junior section of the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach on Wednesday.
“I was invited by Surfing Australia to compete – it’s actually my third year,” he said.
“I hope I do well but it’s hard because everyone’s out to do well.”
Seb urged surfers to take care when they are in the water.
“You’ve got to be really careful around surf.”
In the lead up to Australia’s longest running competition for professional surfers, Surfing Victoria and Australian sports physicians have warned competitors of the risk of injury in the surf.
Sports Medicine Australia’s Dr David Bolzonello said surfers faced several threats of injury.
“Compared to other sports the overall risk of surfing injury is low. However, that doesn’t mean injuries don’t occur,” Dr Bolzonello said.
“All surfers, especially those surfing for the first time, need to be aware of how to protect and prepare themselves for the surf.”
Dr Bolzonello said common surfing injuries included lacerations, sprains, dislocations, fractures and conditions known as swimmer’s and surfer’s ear.
The majority of injuries were related to impact.
“These injuries often result from surfers making contact with their own or someone else’s board, wiping out or striking the seabed,” Dr Bolzonello said.
He advised surfers to warm up and stretch before hitting the water and to observe surfing etiquette to avoid collisions.
Posted by Jeff at 7:19 PM