For 11-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater, it was no day at the beach after he shattered his foot during freesurf at Jeffreys Bay in South Africa.
Everything was going swimmingly for the 45-year-old American surfer who found a nice wave to catch for that coveted barrel sought by experienced surfers. Only this time the barrel swallowed him up and slammed his board against his foot with a tremendous amount of force.
The result wasn’t pretty. As you can see in the X-ray of Slater’s shattered foot—posted on his Instagram shortly after the incident—two of his metatarsals were snapped in half like twigs from the trauma. And you thought a stubbed toe was painful. Along with the graphic image, Slater went on to elaborate what the pain felt like, comparing it to the feeling of folding your entire foot backward, or smashing it with a big hammer as hard as possible.
You ever folded your entire foot backwards? If you try it sometime, this is what it might look like. I pulled into a barrel this morning and the whitewash bounced the board back into my foot as I hit the closeout, taking all the pressure into the metatarsals. Kinda like smashing my foot with a big hammer as hard as I can. Sorta feels like I'm giving birth out of my foot right now! I'm guessing surgery and 6 week holiday is in order. Not looking forward to 30 hour flight home before surgery though. Ouch! It sucks but so many people deal with such horrible things around this world everyday that a broken foot is pretty minor in the scheme of things. Sometimes a bad thing is a good thing. I'll make the best of my time off. #ThatsGonnaLeaveAMark #INeedElephantTranquilizers
It’s pretty clear that Slater won’t be hitting the surf any time soon, but the surfing veteran took it all in stride, saying, “It sucks but so many people deal with such horrible things around this world everyday that a broken foot is pretty minor in the scheme of things. Sometimes a bad thing is a good thing.”
While the day didn’t go well for Slater, things could have been worse. According to BBC.com, two other surfers had to be pulled from the water after a shark was spotted a bit too close to the competitors. Better to break your foot than to lose it entirely.