Wake 101
Home   Articles   Pics/Video   Gear   Wake 101   Events   Community   Forums   Classifieds   Contests   Shop   Search
WakeWorld Home
Email Password
Go Back   WakeWorld > >> Wakeboarding Discussion Archives > Archive through May 13, 2007

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old     (kneeboarddad)      Join Date: Sep 2005       05-02-2007, 2:58 PM Reply   
I have been asked about Austin’s head injury and have seen some questions about his riding after sustaining such an injury. In light of some recent accidents I thought it might be helpful to discuss and to accurately portray what happened.

Austin took a very hard fall on a Pete Rose at the end of his first pass during the quarter finals was pulled onto the boat to be checked out. He was dazed but ok. He completed his run flawlessly and advanced to the semi finals on Sunday. This was 6pm. When he returned to the dock he had no memory of falling or his run. He kept repeating himself and had lost all short-term memory for the entire day. I got the medical crew to look at him and also Dr. Soven. He was diagnosed with a concussion and referred to a hospital. He also sustained neck and back injuries.

The hospital did a CAT scan and x-rays on his neck and back. All came back good. There was no swelling or hemorrhaging to the brain. His eyes were not dilated, no head aches or blurred vision and no nausea or problems with balance. The doctor said it was a concussion and to take it easy for two weeks. We got back to the room at 3am and had decided that he would not ride the next day.

I did a lot of research on the internet the next morning and spoke with several medical professionals. There are all types of concussions and the milder ones allow you to return to contact sports within 20 minutes. All his neurological signs were excellent and we performed some more test the next morning. He passed them with flying colors but he still thought he wouldn’t ride especially since his neck and back were so sore too. This was 10 am.

He decided he would at least go out and ride an easy pass. He had worked too hard and this was a huge opportunity for him. This was his first big Pro Tournament in the US and he had made it to the final 12 riders. He was the first rider off the dock and was scheduled to ride at 1:30 pm. After further consultation with medical professionals he decided to go out and ride his best (unbeknown to me). He killed his run and was very close to making it into finals. He ended up getting 2nd in the heat 5th place overall. He is taking this week off to recoup.

A couple of very important points need to be made. Austin made this decision based on all the medical evidence. All of the observable neurological indicators were excellent. This was balanced with the fact that this is his profession and career and not just a recreation. He is taking the week off to be safe before resuming training. Always take head injuries seriously. If you take a hit to the head get out of the water and see how you feel. If you have any doubt do not continue. Fellow riders and driver need to make sure of this also. Know the signs of a concussion. If exhibiting these signs you may need medical attention but you definitely need to not do anything to further harm yourself. Do not ride for two weeks. You will heal but another knock to the head too soon can result in brain damage or even death.

Helmets. A helmet is a must if you are hitting obstacles but don’t protect you from concussions. Austin was wearing a helmet. The doctors will tell you they provide no to little protection from this kind of fall. They do protect you from hard objects such as your board, tree stumps or sliders. Hope this helps.
Old     (dizzyj)      Join Date: Jul 2003       05-02-2007, 4:07 PM Reply   
I took a digger on a 3 attempt last week. I wanst sure the day or month, or who was president for about 20 minutes. Lots of fun! :-)

I too was wearing a helmet (always do learning new tricks), and while I still probably got a concusion, I think it kept it from being even worse.

I still took 2 more sets after that too :-)
Old     (stephan)      Join Date: Nov 2002       05-02-2007, 4:19 PM Reply   
There was a guy in Northern CA that passed away from a concussion. He had received 3-4 in a period of 3-6 weeks (I don't remember the details). He crashed on a whirly and was feeling fine and then went into convulsions & ended up in a coma. He never woke up. Not something to mess with. Also, I apologize if I got the story wrong. A friend was on the boat & good friends with him, but the story has faded from my memory. I am just trying to convey the importance of not pushing it when it comes to head injuries.
Old     (lfboardboomer)      Join Date: Nov 2006       05-02-2007, 5:01 PM Reply   
Congrats to Austin for his finish. Thats awesome that he has done so well in his first big tournament here. Glad to have a representative for the Carolinas. Nice riding Austin
Old     (wakedad33)      Join Date: Oct 2005       05-02-2007, 5:39 PM Reply   
Glad to hear Austin is doing well, I had a chance to watch him free ride last month and he has stepped up his game so much from last year. Heal fast and well see you guys in Atlanta.
Old     (lfxstar)      Join Date: Jul 2001       05-02-2007, 6:25 PM Reply   
i think learning pete roses made me lose a lot of my brain cells, hope your son gets better!!
Old     (tigerblp)      Join Date: Oct 2002       05-02-2007, 6:26 PM Reply   
i'm stoked to see him doing well in the states!!! he deserves it and it's been awesome getting to watch him grow as a rider over the last few years. tell him I miss him over here!!! and I hope he feels better soon :-)
Old     (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       05-02-2007, 7:28 PM Reply   
Yikes! Sounds like he risked a lot to ride.
Old     (wakedad33)      Join Date: Oct 2005       05-02-2007, 8:34 PM Reply   
J-Rod, I talked to Austin just before he rode and asked him some pointed questions, he responded well and seemed fine. I know what your saying, but these are young fearless kids (you can remember) and right or wrong it means a lot to them to compete at that level. I remember back in the day cutting a cast off to go race my motorcycle. I will not judge, but I understand what your saying.
Old     (kneeboarddad)      Join Date: Sep 2005       05-03-2007, 3:44 AM Reply   
I agree there is still some risk and I would never suggest someone ride after a concussion.

Austin's was a well informed decision and he had the advantage of having a couple of medical professionals on hand to consult with. He also had a CAT scan. The CAT scan showed no swelling or hemorrhaging which is the most critical items to look at. If there had been any swelling or bleeding it is a no-brainer . The key indicators such as blurred vision, nausea, head ache, short and long term memory, any type of noticeable bruising on contusion or balance problems. We put him through a series of test the next morning to check for balance and cognitive functions. Everything checked out. We had a doctor and an EMT clear him.

I went to Bish and told him if Austin takes a hard fall just pull him out. As I mentioned earlier this is Austin's dream and passion. It would not have helped his career not to ride. He applied the risk reward factor (he just completed his macro-economics class and talks like that) to the situation an determined the risk were small enough to justify riding.

I am not saying I agree but I do understand. The most important thing to this thread is to emphasize the importance of addressing a head injury. Again, he had the CAT scan, full on medical attention and healthy symptoms. Please do not take from this situation you should ever go out and ride after a hard fall and you display any head injury symptoms. Always err on the side of caution. Even if your a 19 year old male with absolutely no fear of anything.
Old     (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       05-03-2007, 7:50 AM Reply   
I hope he had a real mild one with no long term risks. The experts don't really know how a previous concussion impacts the next occurrence or your general mental health down the road.

Chris had what sounds a very similar level concussion on a MX bike when he was 17 and has had 2 epileptic style seizures since then. While his neurologist hasn't said that's definitely what caused those he won't rule it out.

It might be worth having Austin see a neurologist in the near future just to get another opinion and see if an MRI is warranted. It sure opened my eyes after talking to chris's. The neurologist can give you guys some insights about what to watch for down the road, some of the warning symptoms aren't real obvious.

After two seizures and a broken femur over a 3 year period it's tough to even get the wife out in the boat these days and it's always sitting there in a corner of my mind as well but life goes on.
Old     (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       05-03-2007, 8:08 AM Reply   
Head injuries are a scary thing... Definitely something to think about when wakeboarding. We are a sport that's in it's infancy. Hopefully the repeated wacks to the head don't have long term effects on some of young athletes as they progress to older ages.

Be careful after concussions. Take it slow and allow plenty of recovery time.
Old     (hoosairboy)      Join Date: Aug 2005       05-03-2007, 4:51 PM Reply   
Whoa. I hope he's ok. I was down there Sunday and saw his ride. A couple of 7s, a back mobe, skeezer and some others. Hit the transfer box both ways. I think he fell on a backside 5. There was some great riding that day. Didn't see the fall on Saturday but heard the announcers talking about it. Good job on top 10 finishes in wakeskate and wakeboard.

David- is Austin a HL team rider? I am putting together a team scoreboard and didn't see him on their site.
Old     (wakedad33)      Join Date: Oct 2005       05-03-2007, 6:13 PM Reply   
Roger, Austin is team rider on Hyperlite's Legion team.
Old     (bakes5)      Join Date: Aug 2006       05-03-2007, 6:35 PM Reply   
Based on the available info, his riding the next day was an unnecessary risk he should have NEVER taken. From what you said he had symptoms the "entire day." That is at least a grade 2 concussion. That means you are out for at least a week. Period.

You cannot rely on the CT scan to clear your either. Just because the CT scan doesn't show anything doesn't mean he is cool to ride. The brain takes a while to return to normal after a concussion. If the CT were that great it would have shown signs that he had recently had a concussion. By your words it was "good." The guidelines for return to contact sports are all about the symptom free period (which for a simple grade 2 is a week). You won't find a guideline anywhere that allows the athlete to return to play once the CT is "good"

I don't buy the "he's a pro so it's ok" argument. If he is an up and coming pro then the last thing he needs is a second concussion to keep him out at least 2 weeks or a month assuming nothing else happens. I would expect a pro to look long term.

Also, the athlete should not really have a say in whether he/she returns to competition. First of all his judgement is clouded by the fact that it is his "first big pro tournament in the US." Secondly, he just sustained a grade 2 concussion so probably isn't the best person to be making that kind of decision....although I understand that it is pretty hard to keep someone from riding. You would think a pro level competition would have a doc on hand to look out for both the health of the rider and the wallet of the competition organizer.

Survival does not constitute good behavior. He got lucky.

Anyways that is just my opinion


Old     (hoosairboy)      Join Date: Aug 2005       05-03-2007, 7:27 PM Reply   
Bakes- I think if you read his last post he agrees you shouldn't ride. I think the point of the thread is to influence people not to ride with a potential head injury. The decision to ride is the rider's unless it is obvious he is hurt or there is obvious potential harm. None of those apply here.

Randy- thanks for the info. Your son did well this week end. Should make for an interesting year. I know everyone has conceded to Jimmy but I think you may see a couple of these other young guns give it a run for the money. I am interested to see what Kyle Alberts does as well as your son and others. Jr Men lost a lot riders to Pros this year and Alex Hammerick is injured but Ryan and Kyle and a few others will make it interesting.
Old     (bakes5)      Join Date: Aug 2006       05-03-2007, 8:06 PM Reply   
True..The issue I have with it is someone had a concussion with sx lasting a long time (assuming entire day=several hours) who then talked himself into riding again the next day. The plan was to take him out again if he took another hard fall. I think that is a set up for a very poor outcome sooner or later. The plan should have been to take him out before he took another hard fall.

Once you have a grade 2 your day and next week are done. Don't go doctor shopping until you find one who will clear you. Don't rely on a CT scan to clear you. Don't rely on a neuro exam that will detect the obvious but likely won't detect an impending neurologic insult (sp. second impact syndrome). Just stop riding and don't let your friends ride if they do something similar.

Well I think you know my position on this.


Old     (wakedad33)      Join Date: Oct 2005       05-03-2007, 8:19 PM Reply   
Roger, it well be a good year for Jr mens, Robert Soven & AJ are both riding well, Kyle is a player for sure and Ryan has all the tricks to challange.
It was a really bummer for my Alex that Alex Hammerick got hurt, he was one of Alex's best friends on the tour. Looking forward to Atlanta. You going?
Old     (rnopr8)      Join Date: Apr 2005       05-03-2007, 9:46 PM Reply   
Bakes....I agree all the way. You get a grade 2 and go out and hit your head again...your chances of surviving are not good. What more can be said. And helmets DO decrease brain deceleration. Just think of how bad it would have been without the helmet.
Old     (hoosairboy)      Join Date: Aug 2005       05-04-2007, 4:22 AM Reply   
Randy- Wish I could but have no excuse to go to Atlanta. I think we will see Alex put together an awesome finals run this year at one of the stops and be on the podium.

I agree about the head injuries. Don't risk it. I am not talking about Austin cause I don't know the details but as a rule DON'T RIDE. Austin is an awesome kid and unique in that he is a double threat in wakeboarding AND wakeskating and I would hate to seem him seriously hurt.


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 9:18 AM.

Home   Articles   Pics/Video   Gear   Wake 101   Events   Community   Forums   Classifieds   Contests   Shop   Search
Wake World Home


© 2016 eWake, Inc.    
Advertise    |    Contact    |    Terms of Use    |    Privacy Policy    |    Report Abuse    |    Conduct    |    About Us