Keahi came over to Oahu for a few days. His timing was perfect for this wave that only breaks on a large wind swell on the East side of the island. Normally the spot is flat with light winds and perfect for beginners, so it’s quite ironic and I chuckle at the thought that he hurt himself there. We had just spent 20minutes tacking upwind to the wave, when he decides that he’s going to try some ‘jumpy spinny thing’ right in front of me.. Half way through the spin, the board separates from his feet and he splashes down in the water with the board springing tail first towards his head. At that point I wasn’t sure if it had hit him, but it looked close enough that I felt I should check on him. Turned out the center fin near broke off on his head, leaving a huge gash on the side of his head. We went back to the beach where it was then clearly obvious that a trip to the doctors would be necessary. 10 stitches and quick lesson on a doctor bill that clearly reflected how much it sucks to be in America with no health insurance, he was out the door counting the days till he’d be back in the water again.
I’d like to point out, that although you see many pros wearing surf leashes, it is usually in situations that would put more risk chasing a lost board (dry reef, wind shadows, etc), than risking the dreaded leash bounce back. If you can loose a board and recover it without any added danger to you or anyone else, I do not recommend wearing a surf leash. (for reasons showed above)