Kelly Slater on the wipeout that nearly killed him

by: Graham Bensinger

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the danger that's inherent with your sport I mean we can go to the contest recently in Hawaii of the big Eddy how scared were you at times of that I don't know I wasn't real when I was actually in the contest yeah the ways were massive the other day it was it was pretty scary but it was more scary the lead-up to it you know the night before when you hear because we called the what happens we call these buoys there's these buoys offshore a couple hundred miles off or ten miles off or whatever you know there's a few different buoys in the ocean so you call you look up online or you call these buoys and it tells you the height and the interval between waves and from that you can determine how big the waves are going to be so the night before we're calling the buoys and we see this buoy pop to like 20 26 25 or 26 feet at like 19 seconds which basically means it's going to be frickin huge that basically just translates like 50-foot faces something like that oh really yeah so what are the nerves like you you think you could get hurt or oh no I mean you know the nerves are you think you might drown or get in a really dangerous situation and also that pressures on you to go out in one hour to go catch for waves you know that that contest you have to surf twice for an hour each and you get four waves so you know you want to put on a good showing and you want to honor the people that put you into the event where's the most dangerous place you've ever surfed and what made it dangerous most dangerous place I've ever surfed I would probably say it's either it's either pipeline or or Mavericks up it happened in Bay um I would say pipeline because a number of things that shallow it's an intense wave quite a number of people have died there drowning so we're getting knocked out hitting your head on the reef and then drowning obviously a Half Moon Bay in Mavericks there's been a couple a couple of my friends have died there it's just a big giant wave that kind of just it's it's way bigger than pretty much all the ways around it just the way that the swell hits there and the way the bottom is contoured but also that there's also rocks there's been multiple great white attacks there there's been two or three great white attacks there so it's just it's got every element of fear the water is cold it's it's one of the most intense waves you'll ever see how badly you hurt yourself when you knocked yourself out in France not too long ago yeah I got knocked out I'd laugh about it now but I had to use all my brainpower to knock it post-traumatic stress disorder afterwards because it was kind of scary I I almost had to wave hold down like I came up in the second wave broke on me as I came up and I thought was kind of funny because the waves weren't very big and I basically a to wave hold down to wave hold down and surfing is kind of like it's kind of a badge of honor you know once you've had a to hold down you've had a really heavy wipeout but this one was kind of funny because the way is real close together so it wasn't really like a proper two wave hold down but my very next wave I took off on and I did a turn off the top of the wave and the wave just kind of bent away from me so my board kind of got air and flew out of the water and I did I just judged it wrong and I over rotated in the turn and when I fell I fell backwards and my my board separated from my feet and went below me and I fell backwards and hit my head and got knocked out instantly and just hit my head myself super hard back here so I like a I guess as I came to I realized I was underwater so I didn't breathe and I just started swimming and I kept swimming in swimming but I didn't know which way was up and I swam so far I was starting to get more I was starting to kind of like become conscious more and more but I was still like I felt like I was dreaming and I realized I gosh I'd swim so far I've swum like six or seven strokes and I haven't hit air I don't know where I'm going and my hand kind of I felt my hand just barely kind of go above the water so I kind of reached my face in that direction and tried to take a breath and I kind of breathed half foam and half air and then I came up and I I just was I started going to shock really fast in I just grabbed my board and turned towards Shore and the next wave hit me up towards the beach luckily I was close to shore and as I hit the shore I fell off my board in the next couple wait like 1 1 or 2 waves rolled me kind of like just laying in the water kind of getting rolled by ways but I knew I was safe at that point and then I kind of it was a really bizarre feeling because with the contest in town there's a lot of fans surf fans there and stuff right and so there was this about 20 yards behind me there was this really high seawall and there was about a hundred French people on there and they were like yelling my name and taking pictures and stuff and nobody realized that I was injured and so it was really that's why I said is like a Twilight Zone because I was like I was like in kind of going into serious shock and you know potentially could have just drown right then and um and and so I'm on the beach kind of like absorbing like this whole thing and there's people like yelling my name and taking pictures and I'm like I'm like playing at the beach I'm like laying there kind of completely starlit what just happened realizing I'm really lucky all right Kelly so what you people do this should subscribe subscribe to Graham's channel watch more clips from this interview and go where's the enthusiasm so I'm gonna send him 20% of

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Kelly Slater shares life-threatening surfing experiences, including two-wave hold-down and getting knocked out in France. Slater calls the Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii and Mavericks at Half Moon Bay in Northern California two of the most dangerous surf spots. Want to see more? SUBSCRIBE to watch the latest interviews:

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