It's 5 Questions with Jordy Smith. He tells us about the healing process after an injury that put him out of competeing; and what it takes to get back into competitive shape.
How's the Injury recovery coming along?
It's been a long six weeks, we've being doing a very active rehabilitation concentrating only on the area that's injured, I've had lazer and acupuncture to target the deep tissue to get more circulation into the blood which will enhance the healing process. They've also shoved me into a hyperbaric chamber to get more oxygen into the blood, which also speeds up recovery time. Diet plays a big role, but I've been on a structured diet all year, and I've also had one of a kind O'Neill suits made with additional padding over the ribs to protect them, so it's been a full team effort.
You've missed two events now, do you think you'll be ready for Europe?
I'm at about 70%, it's super sore lying on the board which is the main problem, if you can't paddle, you can't catch a wave. It doesn't affect me once I'm up and riding I just won my first heat which was my first surf since Chopes, so I get to miss round 2 which is great for the ribs to recover even more.
What actually happened on that wave at Chopes, did you hit the reef, or your board cause the damage?
It was on a wave I probably shouldn't have gone on, I was sitting deep and the wave swung wide. I got to my feet and did a quick pump (to get speed) to get through the section, but was too deep, By that time, I got stuck too high up the face and free fell from the top to the bottom. The injury didn't come from the board nor the reef, it's from the free fall and landing wrong on the water. Chopes and Pipe are two waves where the water is as dangerous as the reef or boards, the water draining off the reef compacts so much, its like you hitting concrete, not to mention the energy/power that funnels straight onto the reef. Result was damage to the cartilage in front of my ribs, separated the muscle that holds the ribs together, and damaged some of my abdominal muscles - a goodie...
On a scale of 1-10, how painful was it and how painful is it now?
12/10 when it happened, like I got cloth lined by Bismark Du Plessis in my ribs... But its fine now, like 2/10, hurts when I lie on my board still, it just needs time, problem is, the back end of the year is so jam packed, time is not on my side...
Did you go to the beach at all to watch Trestles/NY?
Nah, it was hard enough watching the boys blow up in the live feeds, being at the events would've been worse. Looking back, it's been a good thing, I've been able to regroup, get on top of my boards and focus on what and where I'm going as well as getting better. One thing that has really helped is all the support from home and around the world, so thanks to everyone out there, it's been unreal!