Twenty-two stitches on his left ear, a jolt and a black eye.
Considering what could have happened- a brain, neck or spine harm, or even worse- Hayden Rodgers is one lucky surfer.
Hayden, a 14 -year-old national surf supporter and Volcom team rider, is at home in San Clemente recuperating after being extricated at the heavy channel-surf break Pipeline on the North Shore of Hawaii last week.
The drastic relief on Dec. 19 happened in front of a coast filled with surf fans following the Billabong Pipe Masters, stopping 11 -time world champion Kelly Slater who was in the middle of causing his Triple Crown of Surfing acceptance speech on stage.
“We have a rescue going on, I’m sorry, I’m a little distracted, ” Slater said, looking beyond the crowd as rescuers gathered the unconscious Hayden to shore .
” Everyone watch out, ” Slater announced out to the crowd on the sand.
Young surf starring
Hayden was born in Marin County before the family moved to Orange County a decade ago, first to Laguna Beach and for the past four years living in San Clemente, closer to world-class ripples that allow him to follow his pro surfing dreams.
He started catching waves at age 6, and by age 9 was are caught up as a Volcom team rider.
The last couple of years he’s been a stand-out in amateur challengers. This time he payed the Under-1 4 deed at the USA Surfing Championships at Lower Trestles, and in 2018 he earned three National Scholastic Surfing Association championships — winning the Open Boys, Explorer Menehune and Junior Airshow divisions at the Huntington Beach event .
The USA Surfing Championships at Lower Trestles created the nation’s top competitive young surfers to compete in 4-6 paw channel-surf just south of San Clemente. Hayden Rodgers, of San Clemente, made the win for the sons under 14 fraction.( Photo courtesy of Kurt Steinmetz)
Hayden, the youngest member of the USA Surfing junior national crew, takes a few large-scale channel-surf tours every year, traveling to places such as Tavarua in Fiji and the North Shore of Hawaii, cultivating himself up to take on big-hearted cannons. He’s made channel-surf publication headlines for years, with boasts on Surfline and Stab Magazine, which flowed an clause when he was 11 registering the 80 -pound ripper razz tubes in Bali , was indicated that very best surfers in the world need to take note.
“It appears better when he does it, ” the facet read.
So charging pumping four-to six-foot ripples after the last World Tour contest wrapped up in Hawaii last week was not out of the norm for the young charger, who was among a group of surfers who hit the ocean just after the Billabong Pipe Masters wrapped up .
The dramatic rescue was first reported by Surfline.com, which described the moment Hayden got stuck at the priorities in a wave, free-fell with the cheek to the bottom and went sucked over the dusks of the next curve. His head flung on the ridge and he was held under for various waves.
Hayden’s father, Jerry Rodgers, said his son was ” unbelievably luck” so many parties were in the right place at the right time.
Bodyboarder Lindsey Yasui first discerned Hayden and knew he was in grave danger, hanging on to him on her bodyboard, along with surfer Jackson Bunch, until cure arrived.
Two young Hawaiian surfers caused their hands and targeted rescuers where to go. Just daylights earlier they had completed a BWRAG — Big Wave Risk Assessment Group — direction that coachs surfers about ocean safety, and lifeguard and save techniques.
” It was chaos ,” Jerry Rodgers said.” They parted exactly where to go get Hayden. That saved important period .”
Terry Ahue, a famed North Shore lifeguard who began the Hawaiian Water Patrol with Brian Keaulana, is looked with Hayden Rodgers after he was liberated from the hospital following a recovery at Billabong Pipeline. Both Ahue and Keaulana were on rescue skis and hastened to save Hayden.( Photo courtesy of Jerry Rodgers) Related Articles
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The Hawaiian Water Patrol too was on scene, including ex-serviceman North Shore lifeguard Terry Ahue on one ski, Brian Keaulana on another with lad Chad, who hopped in the water to get Hayden out, and Pat Chong Kim on the third relief ski.
” I’m told they did two quick constrictions in the spray before they sprayed the ski into the sand ,” said Jerry Rodgers, who was at home when the accident occurred.
Once on the sand, the North Shore lifeguards were able to stabilize Hayden and scurry him to The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, along with his mother Stacey and brother, Nolan, 17, where he was treated for a few daylights before he was able to return to San Clemente just before Christmas.
In the days following the incident, the family has received hundreds of sends from friends and strangers evidencing their support for Hayden. One stranger on the coast stopped Hayden after he was secreted from the hospital and started crying at the vision of the surfer.
“We would like to thank every single one of you, ” Jerry Rodgers wrote on social media following the incident. “Hayden will make a full convalescence, he will be out of the liquid for a bit while but will be back stronger than ever especially with all the support from all of you … Hayden has always been a barrel hunter first and foremost and I don’t think that will ever change.”
Doctors have told Hayden he has to stay out of the spray for four to six weeks, which won’t be easy, as the surfer is already talking about where he wants to go for his next surf trip.
One thing, though, will be different when he goes to chase casks around the world.
” Those freak accidents can happen, pro surfers have gone down at Pipeline ,” Jerry Rodgers said.” He absolutely will be wearing a helmet next time he goes out there, that is not arguable. Helmet is going to be required at four or five ponderous reef divulges .”
Hayden Rodgers of San Clemente was hospitalized after a wipeout in Hawaii. He is seen here in July, 2018 surfing in the NSSA National Open and Explorer Championships at the Huntington Beach pier.( File Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/ SCNG)
The family also wants to support the lifesavers who helped rescue Hayden, possibly teaming up with the Positive Vibe Warriors , a nonprofit aimed at water safety started by the pro surfer Gudauskas brethren to give fellowships for surfers to make the BWRAG course.
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Jerry Rodgers said the family is trying to stay positive. He said Hayden doesn’t recall anything from the accidents but is piecing it together from social media posts and first-hand chronicles from friends.
Before leaving Hawaii, the family got to thank lifeguards and many of the others who helped on the scene.
” We’re just so appreciative he’s OK ,” Jerry Rodgers said.” He got so lucky there were so many people there. Every minute counts, every second in such situations .”
Hayden, who is a 4.0 student at Tesla Academy in Irvine, also took to social media to give thanks to everyone involved in his rescue.
“I’ll be back in the ocean soon, ” he wrote. “Thank you everyone I am so grateful to you all for saving “peoples lives”! ”
Read more: ocregister.com.