An ASP interview with Florida's Gabe Kling who is currently laid up due to a double whammy knee and ankle injury, Get well soon Gabe!
COOLANGATTA, Queensland (Friday, June 19, 2009) – Our elite surfers, the ASP Top 45 and the ASP Top 17, earn their keep by battling Mother Nature on a daily basis. Forever pushing the boundaries of high-performance athleticism as well as risking life and limb in some of the most exotic locations on the planet, our surfers are not impervious to injury. Floridian ripper Gabe Kling (USA), 28, enjoyed his first stint amongst the world's best in 2007. Although missing out on qualification that season, he clawed his way through the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) in 2008 to rejoin the elite on the ASP Dream Tour this year. However, after competing in the opening event of the season, Kling injured himself during the ASP WQS 6-Star PRIME O'Neill Cold Water Classic in Tasmania last April and has been out of commission ever since. ASP caught up with Kling to get the scoop on what happened, how he's coping and what lies ahead. This…is our story…
ASP International: Hey Gabe, hope you're well. Could you please provide us with a bit of background on how you were injured? When? Where? The specific diagnosis?
Gabe Kling: I hurt myself in Tasmania during the ASP WQS contest in April. In my heat on a little right, I did a turn and I landed really awkward on my back leg with all my weight. They diagnosed it as a Grade 2 Medial Collateral Ligament Tear and a Grade 2 Medial Meniscus Tear in my knee, and a Grade 2 Distal Tibiofibular Sprain in my ankle (high ankle sprain). My ankle was the most painful and it's taking a long time to heal.
ASP: What has the rehabilitation process been like? Where have you been recovering? Specific exercises? Current health level?
GK: I am at home in Florida doing rehab three times a week for three hours. I have been doing lots of rubber band exercises, balancing exercises and things to strengthen and the ankle. I tried to longboard a few times last week, but it still hurt. This week, I had PRP therapy done to try to speed the healing up, it's something different to surgery. They take the healing elements from your blood and shoot them directly into your injured ligaments or tendons. I am hoping it'll work well so I can be back in the water soon.
ASP: When not rehabbing, how have you been spending your time?
GK: I have been fishing a bit, working on my house, hanging out with my family and friends, swimming a few laps lately to get some exercise and just trying to keep busy. I'm getting pretty restless without surfing.
ASP: Have you been watching the events via web this season? What are your general impressions of the surfing, the rookies and the ASP World Title race thus far in 2009? What do you think of the new ASP format?
GK: I have watched the last few comps online. Parko has been ripping – I have always loved watching him surf. It's still early, but you can tell he definitely wants the title. It was cool watching the rookies Kekoa Bacalso and Drew Courtney ripping at Bells. I don't know what to think about the new format, it seems like not top many people are in favor of it. The first round was ran in pretty marginal surf in Tahiti, and the point of it was for the contest to take three not four days so that the surf would be better, but if they run the first round in junk, it definitely sucks for the lower seeds.
ASP: When do you expect to return to competition? Have you been surfing yet? How has it felt?
GK: Last week, I surfed a longboard and it hurt pretty bad to bottom turn or really any kind of turn which was pretty frustrating. I was thinking I would be getting closer to being healthy by now. I caught a few though and it was really fun to get in the water! It's supposed to be a week before I can get back to rehab after the PRP therapy, so next week I'll do that and see where I'm at from there. I would love to be back for J-Bay. I am just doing whatever I can to get in the water as soon as possible.
For more on Gabe Kling, check out his ASP World Tour Profile