Northern California had quite the week of epic swell. In addition to the iconic Mavericks Competitions being green lit on Sunday, all of San Francisco’s Ocean Beach offered offshore winds and barreling sections down the long, beautiful beach break. In pumping 10-12ft surf on Sunday, professional big wave surfer and mentor to many young athletes, Mike Parsons, paddled out and recieved a brutal beating that left him without feeling in his body due to a neck injury. A flotation device saved his life, Parsons said.
The impact of his triple-overhead freefall was no match for his C7 vertebra that broke in his neck after hitting the water dropping into a wave. The experienced big wave surfer was wearing a flotation device at the time that, he believes, saved his life. Lucky for him, several weeks of wearing a neck brace will be enough recovery procedure to bring him back in the line up.
Watch Mike Parsons take on a 64ft giant wave at Jaws, Peah’i in Maui: