Shock as Kai Lenny reveals extent of brain injury following helmet-smashing Pipeline wipeout

Two months ago, the big-wave surfer Kai Lenny was hospitalised after a wipeout that destroyed his helmet during the Backdoor Shootout, Pipeline’s sixth scalp for the winter. 

Addressing his myriad fans, which include legendary MMA cornerman Mark Zuckerberg, from his hospital bed at the Pali Momi medical centre near Pearl Harbour, Kai Lenny wrote:

First time wearing a helmet at Pipeline and it may have saved my life. I  don’t remember much except that it was during my heat in the #DaHuiBackdoorShootout and the lifeguards sat me down in a chair at the Beach Park. I have a solid concussion and some bleeding out of my left ear.”

The world’s best surfers were quick to acknowledge how his life might’ve drastically zigged if Kai Lenny didn’t have the polycarbonate shell on his head.

“The helmet,” wrote Jack Robinson, punctuating the profundity with two sets of prayer hands.

“Glad you are okay Kai Lenny. TEAM HELMET,” wrote Jamie O’Brien.

Now, an injured brain ain’t something to take lightly.

Who can forget when Owen Wright, a one-time world title contender suffered a delayed brain injury after a wipeout at Pipeline in 2015 that was so bad docs told him he’d never surf, maybe never even walk again? Or current world champ Filipe Toledo, a man for whom even the spectre of brain injury gave his neat little belly cartwheels and forced him off tour?

Earlier this morning, Kai Lenny posted a photograph of his brain being examined by the noted medico Dr Jason Keifer at Brain Health Hawaii.

“Since my head injury at PIPELINE on January 4th, I’ve been doing everything I can to get back on the horse and become better than I was.

“Without a doubt this head injury was the worst injury I’ve ever had. However, it has been a blessing in disguise because it led me to working with Dr. Keifer at @brainhealthhawaii. I’ve had concussions throughout my life and I was able to get answers to questions I didn’t know I had. Truly life changing.

“If you’ve had a concussion / head injury or even if you haven’t I highly recommend getting an EEG Brain Scan. The tools that are available nowadays are absolutely incredible.”

I’ve had a few brushes with brain trauma, hell beaten out of me outside a Surfers Paradise nightclub after my drunk chick picked a fight, concussed, scrambled thoughts, slurred speech, had same girl suggested I be admitted to a psych ward. And, at ten, wrongly fed psychedelics by doctor that led to a wild few weeks tripping in and out of a Hunger Games scenario where participants competed to see who could behead themselves with the best style.

Real vivid memory, sitting up in my bed, weeping, thinking I’m cradling my own head.


How about you?


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