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Discussion in 'All Discussions' started by aka pumpmaster, Apr 30, 2019.
Any news? Not looking good from the reports I've seen.
So sad! One of my favorite surfers and I've also had the awesome opportunity to talk to him on the phone. Prayer to him and his family!
hate to hear that.
damn. Sunny was always one of my favorite surfers.
His surfing made him famous. His hate for the WSL made him a legend.
I see his social media posts often, and for the last two months all he ever talked about was his depression. I don’t know how people close to him did not try and watch him 24/7.
Sunny was, far and away, my favorite surfer in the 90's. A warrior, a fierce competitor. Depression is a bastard.
That sucks. He was always aggro, in and out of the water, as far as being portrayed in the surf media. When I met him at Surf Expo in Orlando many years ago, he was repping for Da Hui and was missing a good swell on the North Shore. He was a total gentleman, signing autographs and giving away swag. Big genuine smile. He gave me a Da Hui leather key chain, I was stoked.
Maybe he is bipolar, and obviously can't get a grip on it.
Not to speak ill of the near dead but am I the only person who thought he was kind of an ass? I still remember that "North Shore Boarding House" where he and makua rothman jammed up these two guys just walking on the beach for "looking at his wife" culminating with SG slapping on of the guys down.
Sunny Garcia in Critical Condition
Social media is revealing a viral outpouring of love, support and encouragement for apex Hawaiian surfer and Men’s World Champion, Sunny Garcia, who is currently in critical condition in the ICU of a Portland-area hospital.
Kelly Slater posted: “Sunny…I love you, brother. I just can’t even fathom you not here. We’ve got so much more living to do before we are done. There’s been hard times but there have been so many good ones, too. Just praying you wake up and we get more of you.”
Details on what exactly put him there are murky at this point, but 49-year-old Garcia was outspoken about his battle with depression. “In 2012, I won the HIC Pro at Sunset,” Garcia said in a 2017 interview. “I was so happy and my son carried me up the beach. I was 42, the oldest guy to win a ‘QS event and I was a grandpa — first and only grandpa to win a QS event. I loaded up my car, and I was driving back home, and I had this feeling that all I wanted to do was drive my car into a pole, and I couldn’t figure out why.”
Born in 1970 in Honolulu, Garcia grew up in the tough Westside town of Waianae, honing his young talent at Makaha before dropping out of high school to join the World Tour in 1985, where he remained a decorated veteran for two decades straight before retiring following the 2005 season. He still holds the record for most Triple Crown of Surfing victories (six), arguably the most coveted trophy in the sport next to the World Title, which he also won, in 2000. Garcia was the last Men’s World Champion to come from Hawaiian blood. In 2010, he was inducted into the Surfing Walk of Fame at Huntington Beach before being elected to the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.
He also had more than his share of troubles — from violence to divorce to incarceration — but he confronted them and moved on from them before reinventing himself on social media platforms as an advocate for mental health. On March 20th, 2019, Garcia posted the following on his Facebook page:
“Doesn’t matter what kind of mental illness you suffer from, we all suffer in silence and deal with it best we can, and most people that don’t suffer can’t understand the pain and frustration that we go through… I have an incredible life surrounded by people that love and care for me, and I get to travel to beautiful places to surf and meet different people from all over the world, but I can tell you when I get down that none of that matters. I just feel like nothing or anyone can help me at the particular time… so I just keep sharing my feelings, hoping that it helps any of you out there that suffer from anything and encourage you to reach out and talk to others like yourself, because this life can really be beautiful. If we all just talk and let it out so others see that it’s ok to share and we are not alone in this suffering… spent the morning curled in my dark closet feeling like I just didn’t want to be here anymore, but I know that this shitty feeling will leave and my day will get better and I hope you all know that your days will get better as well… you just need to find what gets you through those moments in life…”
Surfline will continue to update this story as more information becomes available. In the meantime, we offer our most powerful prayers and deepest sympathies to this inimitable Hawaiian warrior.
Reading the stories in the media, it seems that Garcia faded hard (with depression) the past two years. And I wonder if his brain had been damaged by the thousands of heavy hits during decades of waves slamming into his cranium.
TBI is a lot more common than people know. As is PCS (post concussive syndrome). And, of course, there's the well-documented CTE afflicting many players in the NFL, as well as NHL players, later in life.
To me the giveaway is that his depression & mental angst got worse as he got older.
How many of youse guys have been concussed from a heavy wave or heavy waves? I know I have - - I mentioned to a friend after a 2-hour session of getting waves & eating shiiit that I couldn't recall any of the waves. I got a weird look in return, he said you caught a bunch of waves what are you babbling about. I've had many of those times where I cannot recall sessions.
Getting slammed in the head by the ocean has to be the same as getting punched repeatedly or helmet-to-helmet collisions. Some people tolerate it better than do others, just as in any other heavy contact sport or activity.
I would bet that the hits that Garcia may have suffered from are the ones from drugs. That would be my guess, based on his anger, hostility, and violence attributed to him on the beach. However, that is only a guess on my part.
Having said that, I personally liked the guy from day one that I saw him surfing etc. He shared a lot of the same views I had/have about boards.....
Hope he pulls out of it and thrives.
Very good points. And it’s very possible you are correct.
I've gotten my bell rung good probably half a dozen times surfing. Couple of times I'm surprised I didn't lose consciousness. Worst was a longboard to the head up at my hairline that gave me a big lump at the point of impact and two black eyes. The impact was well away from my eyes yet two black eyes. That one could have been lights out.
Also plenty of hard slams through the years. I could see how someone who is really pushing the limits on the North Shore could wind up with plenty of accumulated damage.
Barry you also make a good point, although I don’t know his personal habits, I do know drugs and alcohol may play a role if he abused those substances.
Something else to consider is that depression typically is a life long struggle, usually from a young age, but can get worse for various reason, some that have already been mentioned. Alcohol and drug abuse is usually a byproduct of depression. A way to self medicate to not feel those feelings, even if temporary and fleeting.
Also I believe there is a big up and down swing of brain activity and emotions when someone is surfing vs not surfing. It’s rewarding and produces euphoric feelings when it’s good and then it all comes crashing down when it’s not good.
And also I believe that with years and years of surfing the rewarding feelings may be harder to achieve, requiring heavier or more thrilling conditions to get the same natural high. Couple that with it being harder to perform at that level as age sets in and the body begins to fail you. When you are no longer able to physically or mentally overcome the challenge of waves that give you that high perhaps one feels lost or inadequate in their endeavor as a surfer.
All this is pure speculation. As someone who deals with depression and anxiety myself, I can relate to others dealing with the same thing. Anyways, I hope he pulls through, regardless of whether he is a nice guy or not.
And from everything I read it isn't even the big shots to the head that do it, but the accumulation of many smaller ones.
All just speculation but..... consider this. He surfs 80 times per year, takes 15 impacts per session to the head (count even the smallest ones) over 40 years. That is 48,000 impacts to the head. Does he have CTE from this??? No clue. But outright saying "no" isn't the right answer either.
Read about Laird..... If he goes a few weeks without some "real waves" apparently he can't even be around. Goes into a funk.
Yeah, I posted some videos from an interview he did a while back. He also talks about having PTSD from numerous near death experiences in heavy surf. He was abusing alcohol for a while till his wife almost left him and then he put the bottle down.
He said he could drink several bottles of wine in a night with no problem, wake up early and go charge 40ft waves, and then rinse and repeat. He even named his alter-personality when drunk Larry. He would say "Larry's here!" And then talk in 3rd person, as if he's this character named Larry who only comes out to play when he's shit faced drunk
I also believe that once that adrenaline wears off we look to something else to give us a euphoric feeling to hold us over until we can achieve that same adrenaline high again.
One flaw on the hits on the head, good surfers rarely get hit on the head; they know how to avoid it.
I grew up surfing in PR--waves get big there; I never got hit on the head, very rarely. I never got hit on the head, very rarely. I never got hit on the head, very rarely. I never got hit on the head, very rarely.