SYDNEY, New South Wales/Australia (Thursday, August 11, 2011) – Owen Wright (AUS), 21, goes hard. There’s no two ways about it. He rampaged through the ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series, terrified the Star and Prime events and vaulted into the Rookie of the Year spot in 2010. With that in mind, Wright opted out of the US Open to further rehab a niggling ankle injury and then took his freshly-rehabbed hoof to Lombok’s infamous Desert Point to warm up for the upcoming Billabong Pro Teahupoo. Amidst a pumping southwest swell, Owen got a closer view of the reef than he would have liked. Tracks Magazine caught up with the current No. 9 on the ASP World Title Series to survey the damage. This…is their story…
Last Saturday at 1:22pm ninth ranked ASP world tour surfer Owen Wright suffered a nasty head injury surfing Desert Point on the Indonesian Island of Lombok. On an increasing southwest swell (a dangerously low tide) and just two weeks out from the ASP World Tour Billabong Pro event in Tahiti, Owen, unperturbed by the funky winds pulled into a solid pit only to be slammed head first into the hungry reef below. Tracksmag.com caught up with Owen for all the exclusive details of the accident, what equipment he’ll be riding at Teahupoo and his aspirations for the event.
I understand it was low tide, a little bit windy and the swell was quite west, but you decided to hit it anyway?
“The wind was a little onshore, but it wasn’t too bad. I went out to try and get a few barrels… I’d been over in Bali and hanging out with my mates and getting in some practice for Chopes [Billabong Pro Tahiti]. It was my second trip to Deserts – so I’d already scored – but then I was starting to push it a bit more and hunt the barrel a lot more, but with that swell being west you could really pull into some long sections and that time things didn’t really come off too well.”
And when you came up you had a handful of blood?
“Yeah, well I popped up and I knew I’d hit. I was like: ‘Yep, that hurt.’ You know when you scratch the reef it’s like, ‘arghhh’. It hurts. This thing didn’t hurt that much, but as I paddled back out I looked down at my board, as you do, and saw all the blood and then I stuck my fingers so far inside my head.”
Did you think of Teahupoo then, like: ‘Oh, no I’m out of the water?’
“Not until I was sitting on the beach with all my mates trying to play doctor did it cross my mind. I was like: ‘How bad is it?’ And they were like: ‘Ummm.’ Not really giving me a proper answer and then I was like: ‘let’s just super glue it and butterfly clip over the top’ because the swell was coming up the next day. They were like, “yeah, kinda? But perhaps you should have a look in the mirror first” And ten I did and I was like, ‘holy shit!’ Lets go get this stitched up.’
Even your friend Eddie ‘The Predator’ Blackwell suggested plastic surgery, it must have looked bad?
“He was like, ‘Mate, you don’t want to end up looking like me, you better go home and get plastic surgery.’”
Was getting medical help a fairly scary proposition on Lombok?
“Oh, hell-yeah, the first joint I went to, Ed and I…”
For full interview, check out Tracks Magazine’s ‘Reef Head Butt Ahead of Teahupoo’
For more on OWEN WRIGHT, check out his ASP WORLD TOUR PROFILE
Catch Owen and the rest of the ASP Top 34 do battle LIVE at the Billabong Pro Teahupoo from August 20 – 31, 2011