Jamie Mitchell on big-wave concussions, depression: “I’ve been struggling with some issues since my Jaws wipeout”

"All those guys that hit their heads hard at Pipe? I betcha they don’t feel a hundred percent. They may never feel one hundred percent.”

Yesterday, the big-waver Jamie Mitchell woke up, saw a photo of himself kneeling on the back of a jetski’s sled after a wipeout at Jaws two months ago that ripped open his wetsuit on the seabed and shook his brain into a concussion, and wrote an IG post about his feelings. 

Hands up for some more punishment… 🤔 In the heat of battle the answer was yes. Looking back the answer should of been NO. 

Concussions are no joke and it’s something i think not just big wave surfers but all surfers have to deal with and look at seriously for the future of there brain health 🙏

I’ve still been struggling with some issues since my Jaws wipeout and also seeing @live.fast.die.old struggles as well i think it’s important to look at and understand what these wipeouts may mean for the future generations. Just a thought 👍

Long-term exposure to surfing can lead to depression?

It’s a matter worth investigating.

I called Jamie, who’s just turned forty-three, whom Kelly Slater calls “one of the greatest unknown sportsmen of all time”, at Sunset Beach where he lives with his wife and two kids. 

First of all, Jamie says that for the past couple of weeks he’d been having these “weird head rushes, like I was drunk.” 

Was it, he wondered, a delayed reaction to the Jaws wipeout and the subsequent concussion? 

Was it something that affected other surfers? 

“I felt like I needed to post about it, it was a gut feeling. Could it be an important issue in the future?” he says. “With my little experience, then Albee in the Jaws contest, he’s had some real tough times as well, he’s still dealing with it and then I was speaking to Kohl Christenson about it, then Billy Kemper was nearly knocked out in Morocco. You know, it made me wonder. When will we, as surfers, look at concussion and what it’s doing to us.” 

How did Albee’s wipeout affect him? 

“Albee had a real bad one, man, he was vomiting after the wipeout. He had a really severe concussion. I don’t think he’s been doing too much surfing. He’s definitely been struggling a lot worse than I have been so, you know, it sucks to see. If he was to go out and have a bad wipeout now, what would that mean for him? I think he’s still feels a little bit off-balance, a little off. He did tow into Jaws and then he posted that he would’ve have done it and that it was lucky he didn’t fall.” 

In a recent IG post Albee wrote: “I have to wear a helmet and can’t last very long but got a glimmer of hope. Might not be this winter but there will be a day where it all comes together… or not, might just end up broken and brain dead…”


The danger ain’t just in big waves. 

“How many times in small waves have you fallen the wrong way and you whiplash your head and you get that flash or the stars? It happens a lot. I don’t think we realise that these concussions or mini-concussions maybe add up over your life of surfing. I don’t get depressed a lot, there’s always been highs and lows, but I do tend to get little depressive thoughts more than ever. Is there a correlation to wiping out?” 

Jamie’s got an open mind on the subject. Maybe depression isn’t a side-effect of wipeouts but part of the game of chasing big waves. 

“You go through adrenalin highs chasing swells then you go through an adrenalin dump. If it’s a good consistent season, and you’re surfing big waves twice a month, sometimes I’ll find myself being a little bummed out. And I do feel like it’s happening more and more. But is it just life? Getting older? It’s an issue the NFL is finding out about. It might be nice to have a study on it, get surfers who’ve been concussed tested or at least get people talking about it. Look at what happened to Owen? Look at what happened to Dusty? All those guys that hit their heads hard at Pipe? I betcha they don’t feel a hundred percent. They may never feel one hundred percent.”

Jamie thinks back to his own belting at Jaws. 

“After that wipeout I wasn’t really coherent. I wasn’t feeling good. I wasn’t seeing straight. But I was frantically looking for my escort boat to get another board. Reflecting on that, dude, that should’ve been it for me. I got lucky. I had another bad wipeout because I was already concussed and fell off on a wave I should’ve made. The photo made me reflect on that and if someone sees my post, sees that I admit I shouldn’t have gone back out, but it’ll make others think more before they do it again.” 

Dean Koontz (left) still twisted on this mortal coil and his lieutenant Kelly Slater (right).
Dean Koontz (left) still twisted on this mortal coil and his lieutenant Kelly Slater (right).

Famous surfer Kelly Slater takes Scientology-like turn, dubs science-fiction author Dean Koontz “prophetic!”

I believe!

What is there left for the most famous surfer in the entire world to accomplish? He has eleven world titles, was both the youngest surfer to ever win a professional surf event as well as the oldest, will somehow end up competing in the Tokyo 2020 Games, dated Pamela Anderson and Giselle Bündchen and created the very first barreling artificial wave in Lemoore, California.

What else can he possibly do other than become the #1 disciple of a very popular science-fiction author, elevating him from mass market purveyor of schmaltz to prophet and founder of new, exciting religion?

The answer is nothing.

So thankfully, Kelly Slater is busily becoming the #1 disciple of a very popular science-fiction author, elevating him from mass market purveyor of schmaltz to prophet and founder of new, exciting religion but maybe you haven’t seen the hoopla around Dean Koontz’s The Eyes of Darkness published in 1981.

Slater, amongst others, credits the author with predicting our present Coronavirus, now called the sexier COVID-19, nearly 40 years early.

Per Slater’s Instagram story:

Compelling, no?

And are you ready to believe? Ready to send $19.99 plus shipping and handling to Dean Koontz c/o Kelly Slater in order to take your very first step on the Bridge to Total Freedom™ (Bridge to Total Freedom™ not a registered trademark of Dean Koontz or Kelly Slater)?

Well, cool your jets, young Seaorg™ (Seaorg™ not a registered trademark of Dean Koontz or Kelly Slater).

According to the internet’s “definitive fact-checking service” Koontz’s prediction rates mostly false.

What’s True
An image shows a genuine page from Dean Koontz’s novel “The Eyes of Darkness” containing the words “Wuhan-400.”

What’s False
However, Dean Koontz did not predict an outbreak of a new coronavirus. Other than the name, this fictional biological weapon has little in common with the virus that caused an outbreak in 2020.

But to hell with facts, right?

To hell with fact checking for sure.

I’m ready, Kelly Slater. Tell us what to do next. Tell us where to send $19.99 plus shipping and handling.

Finally, a religion for The People™ (The People™ is a registered trademark of BeachGrit but not Kelly Slater though BeachGrit principals would be willing to extend the trademark to aforementioned Kelly Slater if he were to agree to ride the BeachGrit tail pad in red, white and blue in the coming Tokyo 2020 Games when he figures out how to get hisself in there…

…Buy here)!

Air reverse!
Air reverse!

Breaking: New Zealand’s farmers leave fields, en masse, and take up surfing to deal with work stress!

A dustbowl cometh.

There are two ways at looking at this life we all live. The Thomas Edison-esque “There is no substitute for hard work” and the Jack Torrance “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

Well, it appears as if New Zealand’s farmers, long champions up “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” are jettisoning the way of their forefathers, leaving the field to bake under an unrelenting sun and turning to surfing, en masse, in order to deal with various life and market stresses.

Market stresses mostly due a drought cooking the land partially do to many trees cut down for farming.

Will the island nation starve to death?

Yes, but let’s read about these brave pioneers. These dancers and necromancers.

Farmers around the country are swapping their gumboots for wetsuits and hitting the surf as part of a mental health initiative.

The Surfing for Farmers group launched in Gisborne last year to offer farmers surf lessons and a healthy outlet for stress.

It has since spread to Mt Maunganui, North Canterbury and Christchurch, and a fifth group will launch at Waihi this week.

The brainchild of Gisborne real estate agent Stephen Thomson, the groups meet once a week during summer, with an average of 25 farmers at each.

“I was very much dealing day to day with farmers who were experiencing the stress and demands that their business brings.

“Seeing the statistics about farmers’ mental health which are not good, it got me fired up to thing there must be something I could do about it.”

Ah the lure of good times. The eat, surf and be merry for tomorrow we die.

Literally tomorrow, in New Zealand, of starvation.

Surfing stripped from inaugural “World Beach Games” as Arab hosts prove themselves “brilliant” and “tactical!”

Shocking. Stunning.

In a shocking reveal it was announced today by the Association of National Olympic Committees and International Surfing Association that surfing will not be included in the inaugural World Beach Games in Doha, Qatar just months ahead of its inaugural appearance in the Tokyo 2020 Olympiad.

Much like Japan in July, Doha has absolutely zero waves.

The World Beach Games were originally set to launch in San Diego in 2017 and include surfing alongside basketball, beach soccer, handball, karate, sailing, skateboarding, sport climbing, swimming, tennis, triathlon, volleyball, water skiing and wrestling.

Extremely beach.

In a stunning blow, San Diego’s organizers were unable to raise the necessary funds to hold the Games and punted to 2019 at which point they failed again and Qatar stepped in.

Basketball, beach soccer, handball, karate, sailing, skateboarding, sport climbing, swimming, tennis, triathlon, volleyball, water skiing and wrestling will still be included.

The International Surfing Association’s president was hoping the surfing discipline could still be held in San Diego but those were recently dashed though he remains committed to future of the World Beach Games with “full support” etc.

Across the globe in Doha, Khaleejis celebrated surfing’s exclusion by doing donuts on their entirely flat beach in Maybachs and Lamborghinis.

They will be honored by serious surfers the world over as brilliant and tactical.

Buy: Surf Star’s Beachfront House that was almost lost to the Pacific six years ago for $US2.5 million!

"This home and neighborhood hold the keys to an adventurous future on the North Shore of Oahu."

If you’re shopping for a beachfront house on the North Shore, you’ll find it hard to go past former rookie of the year Freddie Patacchia Jnr’s pretty yellow joint at 59-155 Ke Nui Rd, Sunset, listed for $US2,495,000.

Fred, who is thirty-eight and who retired spectacularly at the Trestles event in 2015 after a ten-point ride in round one, bought the house for $US730,000 in 2001.

Beachfront home ownership hasn’t been without its rainy days, however.

In October 2013, while competing at the Rip Curl Pro in Peniche, Portugal, Fred got the news that half of his swimming pool had fallen into the ocean, a victim of the natural movement and erosion of the beachfront shoreline.

A little dent in Freddie’s front yard at Sunset. Photo: Hawaii News Now

Fred’s daddy, Fred Snr, told Hawaii News Now, “We’ve asked for help and no help came … We were telling them that if we don’t get something soon we’re in dire straits. At 10:30, the pool fell. It collapsed … We lost our entire beachfront. It took a chunk out 100 feet wide by 50-feet deep. That’s close to 5,000 square feet.”

In 2020, the pool is gone, the front of the joint is shored up, and you can step straight into a front-row seat at the North Shore’s third best wave.

The sales pitch is compelling.

Watch the lineup at Sunset Beach from your front porch or ride along the bike path just steps from your door to Ted’s Bakery for a bite. Hop into one of the soaking tubs or opt for a outdoor shower when you return from hiking, diving, fishing, or surfing neighboring Pipeline or Rocky Point. This home and neighborhood hold the keys to an adventurous future on the North Shore of Oahu.

You get parking for four cars, six beds, seven bathrooms on 10,000 square feet. Property tax is around twenty gees.

Buy, examine here.