As you’ve likely seen from footage bouncing around the internet, Jaws was firing on all cylinders last week, with hard-charging mainstays like Billy Kemper, Albee Layer and more getting some of the best rides of the Pe’ahi season so far. Nathan Florence flew over from Oahu for the swell, and while he nabbed a few monsters, he ended up leaving Maui with a broken back.
As you’ll see in his vlog post above at the 7:40-mark, Florence, at one point during the session, took off on a nasty double-up, got held up at the top for a second, air-dropped down the wave and was sent tumbling. He ended up tweaking his back at some point in the unfortunate wipeout and had to get assessed back at home. He just took to Instagram yesterday to give us all an update on his injury:
“Update to my back injury after the big wipeout at jaws last week, turns out i have a Compression Fracture on my T12 aka broke my back,” he wrote on IG. “Break is as good as things can be for the situation, no disc damage, nothing out of place no pressure on spine, no surgery needed, deadlifts are to thank i believe, just bone that needs healing, out for about 6 weeks unless i can super heal which i feel pretty confident about.”
Florence isn’t the first one to suffer a major injury at the famed big-wave spot. Albee Layer experienced a concussion a few years ago after being guillotined by the lip of a meaty one. Laura Enever hurt her knee out there during a wild Pe’ahi Challenge. Big-wave surfers, of course, know there’s no charging without the possibility of such risks. Either way, here’s to a speedy recovery to the middle Florence.
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