Volcom Pipe Pro

Fioravanti Breaks Back at Volcom Pipe Pro

Fioravanti, Winning in Galicia
The Italian surfer won the 2014 Pantin Classic Galicia Pro, what was then aa 3-Star QS contest, in clean, 3-to-4-foot waves.

Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) got up close and personal with the reef at Pipe Sunday, breaking two vertebrae and tearing two ligaments, according to his Instagram.

"Thanks the lifeguards at pipe [sic] for the help and @cidoubleyou and @dnaeffect for being my "parents" over here," he wrote.

Men's Qualifying Series Commissioner Travis Logie spoke with Fioravanti, who was at the hospital in Honolulu. "He seems in good spirits despite what happened. It's a huge relief that no surgery is needed and he will be able to make a full recovery albeit after some serious rehab.

Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) Fioravanti, deadly with mobility. - WSL / Damien Poullenot/ Aquashot

"Huge props must go to the event water patrol for how well they handled and how quickly they responded to Leo's situation. Leo is a fighter and I'm sure he will come back stronger and more fired up. We wish him a speedy recovery."

Australia's Surfing Life interviewed Fioravanti, excerpts are below:

Surfing Life: Hey Leo. How are you?
Leonardo Fioravanti: I am as good as someone with a broken back can be, although I'm lying in a hospital bed right now...

SL: Can you walk us through what happened?
LF: Well, I was in the heat and this pretty good one came, and I realized that I was right on the peak, but I took off anyways, really late, and kind of airdropped into it. My fins didn't catch the water and I flew back over and I landed straight onto my back on the reef. As soon as it happened I knew it was bad, and I took my leash off straight away, flagged the jetski down and within five minutes I was on a board getting carried up the beach. Ten minutes later the ambulance was there and I was on my way to get a bunch of X-Rays at Wahiawa Hospital. They said it didn't look too bad, but they wanted to send me to Queens Hospital in Honolulu to do MRIs.

This morning at, like, three o'clock the doctor came in and said I didn't need surgery. He brought a back brace that I need to wear, and he told me that I broke two vertebrae and tore some ligaments all throughout my back. I've had a couple of injuries before, but nothing ever this bad.

SL: Well, what now?
LF: There's nothing I can do now. I was going to do the QS this year, and I'm going to miss a couple of events, but I should be competing again in May I think. ... I can kind of stand up and almost walk a little right now, which is a good sign.

Read the full interview with Fioravanti at Surfing Life. The next men's QS contest is the Hurley Australian Open, slated to run February 9 - 16.