The date was December 10, 2015. Standout Australian surfer Owen Wright was in the middle of a practice surfing session on the North Shore of Oahu when he was blindsided by a huge wave. He suffered a traumatic brain injury, effectively ending his quest for the 2015 World Title – and nearly ending his life.
Wright sat out the entire 2016 season as he recovered from his injury. He had to learn how to surf all over again. There were several times throughout his recovery when he doubted if he would ever return to his championship form of the past. As it turns out, he would – and he wouldn’t waste any time once the 2017 season began.
In Wright’s first event back from injury, Quicksilver at Snapper Rock, everything clicked. He won his first heat, then his next, making it all the way to the finals where he faced good friend Matt Wilkinson. He came out victorious, just 15 months after his career – and life – was nearly cut short. That’s the comeback of a surfing legend.