Introducing aquagenic-induced urticaria.
They say you learn something new every day and today’s “new something” is quite a shocker. Monster wave pioneer, father of modern day Nazare, Garrett McNamara has been a constant presence in our surf world for decades with many surprising re-inventions along the way.
I remember, over a decade ago now, standing on the shores of the Banzai Pipeline there on Oahu’s North Shore during a Pipeline Master’s event with large, large swell. So large, in fact, that if my memory serves the contest was put on brief hold. Do they ever do that? Is my memory well and truly shot?
McNamara used the window to head out to 3rd Reef on an electric surfboard that he was the face of. Do you remember that one? The Wavejet?
Anyhow, Garrett went out to put on a show, got smashed and broke his Wavejet in half, both pieces washing to the beach.
“That’s the last we’ll see of him,” I thought but next thing I know he’s discovering Nazare and toast of the town and toast of the world taking CNN anchor Anderson Cooper out on the back of a ski so I thought, “That’s the last we’ll see of him.’
Wrong again, HBO’s 100-Foot Wave such a success that it has been greenlit for a second season and Garrett’s star burning brighter than ever.
Except on a recent podcast with Barstool Sports the big wave icon revealed a long-led, deeply personal family secret.
The host wondered, “What’s the biggest wave you’ve ever bodysurfed?” To which Garrett replied, “You know it’s a funny fact. I’m kinda allergic to saltwater. I get all (indecipherable) and I can’t stay in the water that long so I’m not much of a bodysurfer.”
“There’s no such thing and that’s the last we’ll see of him,” I thought before checking my privilege and do some research.
According to Professor Jonathan Peter, head of the Allergology and Clinical Immunology division at University of Cape Town’s Department of Medicine and the Allergy clinic, “Specialists define a reaction to seawater as aquagenic (water) induced urticaria or cold-inducible urticaria. Studies demonstrate the salt content of water can also influence seawater’s ability to produce hives in certain patients.” Though, “It is not actually considered an allergy.”
Garrett McNamara here to stay.