It's been a remarkable journey for Australian Owen Wright. While practicing for the Billabong Pipe Masters in 2015, he took a serious blow to the head, which caused significant brain trauma and led to a yearlong recovery. Physicians told Wilson there was a chance he might not ever surf again. Undaunted, the Aussie pushed forward, determined to get his life back. His recovery was slow and tedious, with a number of setbacks along the way.
Yet, after 15 months away from pro surfing, Wright was back competing on the Championship Tour, incredibly winning the opening event of the 2017 season at Snapper Rocks. In front of his family, friends and thousands of his cheering countrymen, Wright was back on top. Heads shook in disbelief, tears flowed, beers were chugged. The story was too implausible even for Hollywood.
Now, at the other end of the season, this week will mark his triumphant return to the Banzai for the Pipe Masters. Yet, for Wilson, only one question remains unanswered: "Will my first wave be at Backdoor or at Pipeline?"