Mike Parsons Injured at Ocean Beach, San Francisco
Former pro, XXL winner and big-wave charger Mike Parsons suffered a near fatal freefall on a triple overhead wave in San Francisco on Sunday.
After seeing the forecast for more long-period NW swell and offshore winds all weekend, Snips drove up on Saturday with Taylor Knox and Garth Tarlow. They were the first to paddle out in the middle of the beach at 7:00am on Sunday.
“It was amazing out there, I was having the best time; everyone was getting waves,” Snips said. “I was having a blast. About four hours into the session, I was looking for one in, and a nice set was coming. I paddled for the third wave, thinking I’d get in a little early with a chip shot out the back.”
Turned out to be not the case. “I thought I was into it, then suddenly realized I wasn’t. I took two more strokes and tried to stand up in what turned out to be the lip. I freefell, and remember my feet hitting my board for a second, then my head hit the water really hard.”
Hard enough to get serious whiplash and crack the C7 vertebrae in his neck. “I thought I was paralyzed under water,” he said. “I had that crazy tingly feeling. My right arm worked a little bit, but it felt like it was dangling; like it had been ripped off my body ‘cause I had no feeling.”
There were also several rescues made during this swell. Ocean Beach is amazing at this size, but even the pros of the sport can get a severe beat down out there. It is a very humbling spot to surf.