Aerialist Wade Goodall Suffers Compound Leg Fracture

Creative Destruction Star Sidelined After Injury in Small Australian Surf

Well known for his above-the-lip antics in punchy surf, Australian pro surfer and Billabong Team Rider Wade Goodall broke his left fibula, tibia, and ankle in a surfing accident off the coast of New South Wales on July 8th. Wade’s Creative Destruction webisodes have been a huge hit in his native country as well as in the USA, and will be temporarily on hold following his injury. Although he sustained the fracture on the 8th, it would be a full eight days before he could speak with members of the surf media about the mishap. The reason for this being a heavy morphine drip that was used to relieve the intense pain, leaving him a bit too spacey for interviews.

Wade has been a standout in aerial surfing for the past five years, inventing moves like the "Passion Pop." Here he punts a stock frontside air in the Mentawais.

After a mind-bending week at the hospital in a drug-induced stupor, Wade was finally interviewed by the guys from the legendary Australian surf mag Tracks. He stated that he didn’t know how it happened. Wade claimed to have pulled into a small left tube and then, as it began to closeout, he got clipped by the foam ball inside. He said that usually when the rail catches, and you feel “that jolt”, it just throws you off your board. But this time he admitted that the tube was too small and there was no place to go, so his leg just snapped. Luckily, good friend Laurie Towner was nearby to help him back to the beach, and within a few hours he was in a nearby hospital undergoing surgery. Wade had to stay in the hospital for a week as his wound occurred in sea water, which contains microscopic algae and bacteria. This forced doctors to hook his leg up to a vacuum pump that sucked the blood out of the wound to prevent a septic infection. After a full week of pain and morphine, a final surgery was completed with titanium rods and screws to hold his leg together, and the wound was stitched closed.

Full Rotation 360 airs are Wade's specialty. Photo: Dorsey

The injury was well documented by Wade’s surfing friends that were with him at the time, including Towner. The photos of Wade’s compound fracture made me a bit short of breath though, and I recommend not viewing them if you are squeamish at the sight of blood, or bone sticking out of skin. Nonetheless, Wade wanted to document the dramatic events for his webisode series and kept telling his mates to take photos even in a state of shock.

With the prognosis of a speedy recovery, Wade should be back in the water and pulling into caverns like this one in four to six months.

Goodall will spend at least three full months off of his feet, and moved back to his parents house for support. Thankfully, doctors are supremely optimistic as the break was a clean one with no nerve damage, allowing for a quicker recovery. After all of his high altitude, body-twisting airs that he usually lands in the area near the exploding lip of a wave, its ironic that he sustained such an injury from a small tube. Let’s hope that Wade will be in the water by the new year, showing the world his usual brand of progressive surfing through the lens of the Creative Destruction series. – Ryan Richardson

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