Heavy Surf Injures Local Surfer

Usually when I hear about this I immediately think poor surf break from beach replenishment. Because most of the time that is the case. But even an experienced surfer can take a bad spill. Surfing heavy storm surge conditions and storms themselves make for killer waves, but severe conditions. Sometimes, as local surfer Mike Revel told us … I was just in the right place at the wrong time.

Glad you are okay, despite that neck brace. So what happened?

Mike Revel … Me and 4 buddies decided to paddle out at the st. Line. (145st) area of north ocean city. The waves were like chest high North east wind slop. The only reason we went out is to make ourselves feel better about how bad it was. Haha
We paddled out and I got a few waves.
But I honestly don’t remember the wave I took off on. I know I got tossed and landed on my head into a full scorpion. Legs over back to shoulders.
That’s when I came to. I knew I hit hard and was uncomfortable so I grabbed my board and saw Josh Klienstuber on the beach. I rode on my stomach in his direction. I remember trying to call his name but couldn’t get a yell out so I just started to pat my head telling him to know something was up.

At this point I thought I was just shaken and was up walking around but then the lifeguards and EMS got me on my back on a stretcher. Where I remained until I got a cat scan about 3 hours later at least.
I fractured my c-2 vertebrae in my neck and my t4 and t5 in my chest.
I’ve been surfing the shallow waters of Delaware Maryland my whole life and had never experienced a beating like that.

Humbling to say the least and it shows no matter how comfortable you are, the ocean is still in charge.

surfer injured in delmarva, ocean city maryland, nor'easter surf break
OCMD EMS checking Mike and putting him on a back board.

Do you attribute this “spill” to beach replenishment?

If there had recently been any type of replenishment down that way I would. But OCMD, and Fenwick Island hasn’t pumped the same way Bethany did. Causing a huge shelf and gnar shore break. This was off the beach and no shelf.
I was just in the right place at the wrong time.

I cant rightfully say that it’s not at fault, even though I hate the replenishment more than most

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Any advice to the novice surfers?
Yeah, be smart and safe. Never thought it would happen to me. Nor’easters tend to have heavier waves than those south swells. The way our coast bends allows the south swells to run up the beach longer and not be as heavy most of time. Where as the nor’easters come at a more straight on angle and are heavier.

Now the question is when you are recovered, heading back into the water?

100% just more mindful.

big wves, surfing, bomb cyclone waves, storm surge, delmarva, delaware, sussex county,
This wave was a beast in March

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