The thing about paddling into 10ft Teahupoo is that lying in wait not too far beneath the surface is a reef sharper than a Gillette razor blade, and if you're not careful it'll slice your nipples clean off.

Or break three bones in your hand and one in your back, shred your epidermis like a classified document and leave you out of the water for six weeks. Such was the unfortunate fate of Michel Bourez, who was unceremoniously driven into the Tahitian reef the Sunday before last, landing first on his hand, then his back, neck and head. He isn't competing at Rio this week and will likely miss the Fiji Pro too. You probably knew all that already, but were you aware of how stunningly beautiful Teahupoo was looking that morning? See above.

That evening Michel underwent reconstructive surgery on his hand, into which doctors inserted various metal parts; he also sustained a broken vertebrae. We wish him the speediest of recoveries.

Read about the wipeout in Michel's own words here.

Michel Bourez's broken hand, in a photo posted on Instagram after his Teahupoo wipeout

michel bourez broken hand


The Teahupoo wave Michel Bourez injured himself on, wiping out and hitting the reef

michel bourez teahupoo wipeout 2