Yesterday afternoon we got the call from TransWorld SURF Senior Photographer Brian Bielmann that renowned Pipeline charger Nathan Fletcher snapped his femur at Pipeline just after the call was made to not run the Da Hui Backdoor Shootout for the day. Dave Wassel, who lives on the beach at Pipeline and is a North Shore lifeguard, was quoted on Surfermag.com as saying that he actually heard the snapping of the leg from the beach as Fletcher rebounded off the whitewash after an ultra-high speed cutback.
Nathan Fletcher at Pipeline. Photo: Dave Nelson/SPL
The Surfermag.com article goes on to say that Wassel and Myles Padaca dragged Fletcher from the water as he waved his arms for help. Apparently Wassel swam out in a pair of blue jeans and a long sleeve shirt as he was off duty.
This morning, we spoke with Analog team manager Geoff Moysa who said Wassel wasn't the only one to hear the leg break; "Ryan Hackman heard it snap from the Quik house, too. Right after they called the contest, I got a call from our filmer guy who said Nathan broke his leg. Then I got another update a couple hours later that said Nathan broke his femur. Today's he's in surgery and they've already inserted metal rods into his leg."
Fletcher has been enjoying a stellar season of surfing on the North Shore and an injury like this obviously is going to end this years' run—at least for a couple months. What's strange is that he broke his leg rebounding off the whitewash as opposed to hitting the reef really bad, or wearing a ten-footer on the head. Goes to show you, it's never when you think it's gonna happen…
We wish Nathan a speedy recovery