A couple days ago I was out riding with Scott Stewart. It was pretty cold, so I was just messing around having some fun and my backside 5 was not going so well. I was turning the last 180 really late and having some trouble with it. I figured I would just grab the next one to speed it up and problem solved...right?
Before I tell this next part, keep in mind that I wear a vest 99% of the time when I'm riding. It was cold and I was wearing a wetsuit and I didn't wear a vest for some reason for this set. No excuse and a very bad idea.
So I cut in for the backside 5, grab the board and the next thing I realize is I am 180-degrees upside down in the water looking up at my board and light at the top of the water. Not such a bad thing. Just swim up and wait for the boat to get back, right? That's what I thought until I tried to swim up and my whole body was not working at all. It's just fuzzy and tingling, but not moving. Panic time.
So I still had a whole breath and I'm looking at the top trying not to panic. I'm actually floating up slowly, so going through my head is, "You still have a whole breath. You're slowly going up. The boat has got to be back soon. Dont panic and save your breath." The closer I got to the top of the water, the more my hands were starting to move. By the time I hit the top, Scott was very close. I was yelling to get back, but my hands were only slapping the top of the water. Scott pulled me on the platform and it took a good couple minutes to get my movement back in the whole body.
It had to be the scariest few minutes of my life, first thinking I was going to drown, then wondering if the lack of movement in my body was paralysis. I have to thank Scott for getting back so quick and his calmness when I was borderline freaking out. The whole time I was under water I was trying to keep it calm, but so many thing were racing through my head. 15-20 Seconds felt like hours. As bad as it was, I was so very lucky that I was not winded or came out of my bindings. I would have been floating away from my board to the bottom not even being able go give a fight. The closest thing I could compare to what my body felt like was a head to toe dead arm with no movement whatsoever.
WEAR A VEST!