Pritchard Windsurfing


Injury Happens

One of my favorite lines is “Risk it or sit on your biscuit” and that has always played a roll in my way of doing things. I have a hard time resisting the adrenaline rush of just about anything. I’m now in my wiser days and I have figured out I don’t need to do nutzo stuff on my dirt bike, or fly the big hit down on the mountain bike trail. I have been there and done that! When it comes to windsurfing, I don’t think much about getting 30 feet in the air. That is normal for me and just what I do. And then one bad landing and I remember the pain……

I got a call from an awesome family that said, let’s go to Baja. We want to up our wave game, can you come? I love last minute opportunities and jumped on the plane. Off we went to a nicely forecasted swell and plenty of wind. My brother was still down and decided to hang out for a few days with me. Day one the wind was blasting and the swell was beginning to rise. We decided to go do some jumps on the outer reef upwind- Both Kev and I were on 4.5 sails and lit out of our heads! Perfect for some big air. Side by side we streaked out to a head high ramp that shot me up pretty high and I went into a back loop- I was looking down on my brother and knowing I was up at cruising altitude. I hung on and thought I better not land this baby, don’t want to break any bones…. so I ejected and got my back foot stuck in the strap. Not fun. Impact snapped both my leg bones right out the skin. That was not a good feeling. I knew right away this was not going to be fun- Kev came over, saw my foot hanging off my leg and performed a heroic rescue. I wrapped my one arm around his waist while holding my foot onto my leg. We got worked over the rocks and flushed through Mummy rock. The tide was just high enough to let us through. We bounced off some rocks and made it back to shore in what seemed like an eternity.

Once we got to shore, that is when things started to happen. The crew carried me up and laid me onto a comfy sun chair. I was cold, in shock and bleeding. I remember shaking uncontrollably. I had some great help from the local crew, the team made me a splint out of a knee brace, a broken SUP paddle and a foam mat. It kinda kept my leg from falling apart. Fortunately the SoloSports plane was on the cliff and they wasted no time getting me up up and away. Back to the USA. We got pre-clearance to land in the US without having to go through customs. I was in pain. Someone gave me an advil which didn’t do much for the 2 hour flight back. We landed and I was transported into a taxi and rushed to one of the best hospitals in the country. Brother Kev got me straight into the trauma ward with all the medical bells and whistles! That was such a relief…… Then the morophine kicked in and all was groovy! The verdict was a compound Tib/Fib open fracture. An easy fix said my doc…. and off to the operating room I went. My anesthesiologist put me into another world and after a couple hours of work, they had me back together again!  One thing that really impresses me is how surgeon’s can just open you up and put you back together again. Now I have matching rods running through both of my Tibia bones. Bionic Matt is gonna be back stronger than ever.

Now I’m on recovery road and getting to rebuild the body! I actually like doing this for the most part, I don’t care for the pain but focusing on health and coming back from the bottom of an injury is a challenge and I find that to be rewarding. I have been working with the crew at Deep2Peak on Maui and they are doing a great job at getting me going. One day at a time…….

See you on the water.



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