Mar 4, 2009
Painfully we have to pass on the terrible news of Matt Pritchard's breaking both of his legs while on a trip to California with his brother Kevin. Windsport contacted Matt to wish him well (you can too by clicking here for pritchardwindsurfing.com) and to find out the story behind this horrific injury.
What exactly is the injury?
Basically I broke both my legs. The right leg is pretty straightforward as I snapped both tib and fib… they slammed a titanium rod down through my knee and it should heel up nicely. The left leg is a bit more complicated as it is closer to my ankle joint. I’m not sure on how that will play out. I have been seeing specialists in Los Angeles to get things done right.
Where and how did it happen?
It happened while riding dirt bikes on a Supercross track in Southern California. I was going through a rhythm section with some steep landings and came up short on the last one and just slammed in hard. I didn't even fall off the bike. I kept going but knew I broke both of my legs. It was pretty painful. Luckily there was an E.M.T. on site and I had some morphine in me within 5 minutes, but it still was the most painful thing I have ever gone through and I think I'm pretty tough.
How long will the recovery take?
I’m not sure exactly but I should be back on my feet in 8 or 10 weeks it sounds like.
As you've been down the injury road before, what’s the hardest part of recovery?
For me, the hardest part is not getting frustrated. That is pretty tough when you are all laid up and can't do anything. I just change my mindset and go day-by-day. It’s all you can do. If you think about being out for 6 months, that is hard to swallow. I set goals and do my best to achieve them.
Any advice for other windsurfers on doing high-risk sports?
You can risk it or sit on your biscuit. I totally recommend high-risk sports. They are what keep you on top, being confident and going for it. You’ve gotta pay to play. When you look at any top athlete, they all have injuries and pay the price.
What can a young pro windsurfer do during an injury period to keep his or her sponsors happy?
Be active by writing stories and articles for magazines or websites. Make yourself known by having a presence on the forums. Get creative on the computer basically. Try making videos.
Keep up-to-date on Matt's recovery at pritchardwindsurfing.com.
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