A surfer from New Zealand was run over by a jet ski today at iconic Balinese left-hander Uluwatu, sustaining multiple nose fractures as well as cuts to the head requiring 12 stitches. Fortunately the damage appears to be superficial only.
Pro surfer Tai Graham, who owns the Single Fin Bar stationed at Uluwatu, wrote on social media that the surfer hit by the ski, Matt Duff, remembers paddling for the wave and being attended to on the cliffs, but nothing of the intervening period. “For a mad Maori with a nick name ‘Freaky’, I’m surprised how calm he is,” wrote Graham, before adding a few stern words for the benefit of “the 2 clowns on the ski’s (sic).” Duff, for his part, chipped into the comments with a typically Kiwi reassurance: “All good Mum… A little sore but sweet as.”
Eyeball accounts suggest the surf was in the 4-6ft range and crowded (Uluwatu — Zooluwatu as it’s sometimes jokingly referred to — is a notoriously busy wave). The driver of the ski, identified by Indo Surf Life as one of the owners of Padang-Padang Surf Camp, was giving another surfer a step-off at the time of the incident, and got dragged over the falls as he veered off towards the shoulder. The photo sequence below first appeared on Indo Surf Life.
And before anyone says, “well he shouldn’t have dropped in then” — does a surfer not renounce the principle of mutual respect the moment he or she takes a jet-ski into a busy line-up on a barely overhead day? Discuss.