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Ricky Whitlock

Ricky Whitlock has one of the best comeback stories in surfing. At 9 years old he started surfing and had a promising amateur career, followed by a leap into the pro leagues. Then, just as Ricky was making a name for himself, a nasty wipeout at Pipeline where he fell onto the reef on his back, nearly left him paralyzed. Althoughhe escaped paralysis by pure miracle, his L-1 and T-12 vertebrae were fractured and doctors said a full recovery would be impossible. Ricky, who always worked hard for everything he made, proved them wrong and was back in the ocean that next year, surfing 15 foot waves in Mexico seven months later and then some of the biggest waves at Jaws in Maui less than a year after his accident. He credits a consistent training regime to getting him back so fast. While he still spends most of his hours training for the next big wave session, he’s now the co-owner of surfboard company, Avasin, helping build high-performance boards and testing them in challenging conditions.