Bede Durbidge, a 12-year veteran of the elite Championship Tour, has withdrawn from the upcoming Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast as he's still recovering from the injuries he suffered at Pipeline in December. Fortunately, fans won't miss him completely: The upbeat Australian will be joining the WSL live broadcast to help commentate the event.
"I've always prided myself with looking after my physical health," Durbidge said. "In the 11 years on Tour, I've been fortunate enough to never miss an event due to injury until now.
"Even though I won't be competing at the Quiksilver Pro, I'll be down at the event commentating and supporting my mates," he continued. "I'm 10 weeks into my injury and the last three weeks have been filled with a lot of pool therapy, which I'm making great progress in my rehabilitation. I've been overwhelmed with all the support. I can't thank everyone enough for their well wishes and look forward to putting a jersey back on in the near future."
Along with his power in the water, Durbidge is known for his steely competitive savvy, which has helped win him elite contests in waves as diverse as Brazil's punchy beachbreaks, California's performance waves at Trestles, and Hawaii's famous barrel, Pipeline.
In 2015, Durbidge was on track to break the Top 10 on the Tour rankings with runner-Up finishes in Rio de Janeiro and Hossegor, before suffering a horrific injury at the final event of the season in Hawaii. The reef impact left Durbidge with a shattered pelvis and a considerable rehabilitation ahead of him.
Durbidge's spot at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast will be filled by fellow Australian Stuart Kennedy. Watch him live -- with Durbidge on the mic -- daily on the WSL website and app from March 10-21, local time.