You heard on the news about the live goat that was given as a present to a tiger in a Russian zoo, no? Everyone assumed tiger would tear goat limb from limb and goat would become dinner, but tiger and goat defied all cultural and biological expectations and struck up a friendship that survives to this day. Two months later and still living in perfect harmony! Granted it's not a direct analogy but it is cute and heartwarming, and so is this tale of interdisciplinary solidarity involving Luis Diaz -- Canarian whippersnapper, future king of the world, and European Evan Geiselman. Let it be a lesson to you all.

Luis, we heard you got on the wrong side of an angry slab recently. What’s the story?

I was surfing at El Agujero, this really good righthand slab where I live on Gran Canaria. I'd been surfing for about an hour before the accident. The surf was so good, I got some good barrels and was super stoked, but maybe I got a little too exited.

And the wipeout?

The wave was a medium one, like 6-7 ft. I just remember me going down on takeoff and I don't really remember much after that. I hit straight into the reef and went unconscious, and was under the water for a minute until a bodyboarder scooped me out, then two more of them helped him get me out of the water.

Hmmm, there's no such thing as 7ft . . . perhaps you're still confused. How did it feel when you came to? Where were you?

I started waking up in a car asking, "Where are we going? Whats happening?" That was on the way to the hospital. At the hospital they did a load of tests and magnetic resonances and checked me out. Oh and put some stitches in too.

luis diaz el agujero, gran canaria
luis diaz el agujero, gran canaria 3

How long are you out of the water for?

I'm lucky that there was no real damage. I got the all clear after a few days to surf and I got straight back in the water. I'm surfing just like before. It’s been pumping.

Good. What else have you been up to this winter?

I've mostly been surfing at home. It’s been really good for a few months now, some amazing sessions, really pumping. I also had a week in Portugal with the Monster Team which was super fun too.

What's on the agenda for 2016?

Right now I'm sat in the airport on my way to Hawaii for a few weeks. I'm doing the Sunset Beach Pro Junior and then just surfing and training, staying at the Quik house. I’ll probably go to Indonesia after that and then focus on the European WSL Pro Junior season for the rest of the year.

Photo: Ian Mitchinson