hurricane ike a couple years ago, the first day of it was close to double o and it was way too choppy to paddle out in, noone else was in the water but me and my friend. this was when i was much more novice and before i was proficient at duck dives.. i got caught inside of a set and hesitated and froze up and a real heavy double o wave broke right on my back... i was held under for what seemed like an eternity , and i didnt even know which way was up. I ended up inhaling some water. when i finally broke the surface i was staring straight at another wave in the set and got hammered by that one just the same... i was WORKED
Zach, that was kind similar to mine in SD. Stayed over near the jetty with some nice rights, started to let the current pull me towards the pier, all of a sudden this huge set comes out of no where... Like you said, the water is real deep, there is no pushing off the bottom to get yourself back up. Then when you do get back to the surface, WHAM, another wave! I did finally get back up, coughed up the 2 gallons of water and paddled back out. HA HA, then I just layed on my board for like 30 minutes tryin to find my b_lls again! LOL It shakes ya for sure!
My most memorable hold down was in Costa Rica. I was trying to jam in one more session before departing the next morning. I was exhausted from surfing three days in a row for five hours straight. I paddled out from a short distance walk from of our hotel in Jaco. If anyone knows Jaco is not a great place to surf in the late afternoon, because of the wind, plus it's a dumpy wave. Well My buddies and I paddled out in solid 6-8ft swells. An eight foot set rolled in on me, I went to duck dive and was unable gain any depth on this wave. I got pushed down with board under me and just dragged under water some distance. I usually don't panic, but I was not coming up. Finally, I reach the surface gasping for air, then boom I take another on the head and began the process all over again. This time really panicked which caused my legs to crap up. I finally broke the surface and found myself about 200 yards from my first eight foot wave encounter. After that I was done.
My most recent nasty wipe out was at DE, Naval Jetties several months ago. It was a freakish day where all the surf reports were incorrect, but for the better. SwellInfo and others predicted 2-4ft surf, but in actuality it was solid 4-6ft with plus sets. I turned to see an outsider rolling in at 6ft plus and made an attempt to paddle out to it and turn at the last moment. My take-off speed was much slower then the wave was moving. The wave jacked up as I attempted to get up on my board. That's when I saw that this was going to be bad. I free fell down the face of the wave and over the falls. My surfboard fell quicker than me and all seemed to be in slow motion. Then bam, I hit my board shin first and then tumbled several times and popped out to the surface. The wipe wasnít so bad, but hitting my board was. I paddled back out with blood dripping down my leg. Maybe it was the cool water, but the injury to my shin didnít hurt until later. I now have a new scare to display.
My most recent bad wipeout was last week after the red bull rivals contest at the pier. I took a 3 to 4 foot set wave, did a few turns and kept pumping on it while it reformed on the inside. I was like 20 feet from the shore and pulled into a really small inside barrel that was breaking in about an inch of water. I pulled into about a 1.5 foot barrel, and when I thought it was going to let me out, the damn think just flipped me up and over head first. I hit head first in the sand and my fins shredded over my legs and the board hit me like 5 times in a row on my head. And this happened in front of like 20 cameras and like 2000 people watching. I just sat up, grabbed my sh** and ran away... Pretty gay. The worst wipeouts are always the dumb ones, where right at the last second you go... WOOPS... that was dumb.
though i will never try and estimate how long i was down for.. this winter in oc storm surf day with overhead sets, i was proud just to make the paddle out.. got some waves last wave took off got smashed held down popped up just to see anoter one comeing down right on my dome, held down again came up feeling like i was going to die coughing up water, only to take another one before i finally got out of impact zone.. i was the only one out that day and drifted from 46 to like 74 in about an hour crazyest day of my life.. sickest walk back ever too. make you feel small
I think we've all done a double head hit. You hit the sea bottom with your head, come back up and bang your head on your board. Now I just cover my head with my hands.
Never did a double head hit, but I have face planted in steep, head-high swell. My body bend backwards to the point where it felt like feet my were going to hit me in the back of the head. When you hear your spine crack underwater, there's that split second where you wonder if you're walking away from this one.