“His battered face was red, swollen and grotesque.”
It’s little secret Pipeline is a wave that will throw itself on a man like a demented animal, turning its prey into something that no longer looks human.
Rarely does rhetoric (“You can die out there”) and reputation match reality but in the case of Pipeline, at least this season, it fits.
What is it…five…major casualties?
Peruvian Joaquin Del Castillo had to get his hip bolted back back together at a cost of one hundred gees that he don’t have, Teahupoo kingpin Eimeo Czermak just wants to feel his legs again, world number four Joao Chianca is in rehab after belting his head, a tourist was pulled unconscious from the water on a four-foot day and beautiful Koa Rothman, he face-planted the reef and, in his own words, “Pipeline almost killed me.”
In a video of the brutish incident, we see the wave from the Surfline cam, the rescue, the ambulance ride, Koa’s face red, swollen and grotesque, and the very relieved son of Fast Eddie explaining the brush with his fragile mortality.
“You guys, I’m alive!” says Koa Rothman. “For those of you who don’t know what happened, I actually had an accident out here at Pipeline…on the very end on a wave you’d never expect it to happen on. I hit my head on the bottom, got twenty stitches in my face… and had a pretty bad concussion… I don’t remember ten minutes of it… What I do remember is, the whole session up to it, I caught a wave and straightened out on the wave. When we straighten out, which we do a lot, we give a little hop before the wave hits you… I remember jumping a little bit…I came to on the beach on a stretcher and in a neck brace.”