In the battle of fin vs shin, fin wins...every time.
A late arvo surf at small, onshore Millers turned from a "get wet" sesh to a "mission off to casualty" sesh for longboarder Gregg Clarke on Wednesday. He isn't too sure what actually happened, but thinks the board pinged back at him after a wipeout - fins first.
Nothing like a bit of ketchup in the water to clean the line-up pronto.
It was a pretty gnarly gash - that white stuff you see in the pic is a bit of shin bone peeping through. So it was off to casualty for some stitches. Gregg's cool as a cucumber though - when asked how he was holding up he went...."just being casual....in casualty". Gotto give the man props for still having some decent humour when he's got a lekker eina shin and about to face the prospect of stitches.
So wishing Gregg a speedy recovery!! Luckily for him the swell forecasts look dismal for the foreseeable future, so he won't be missing out too many sessions.
(Update: sliced through the muscle to the bone. Took 12 stitches to close...and the thread snapped a coupla times during the stitching process!)
Fin cuts - how to avoid them
It's pretty much impossible to always avoid tangling with your fins at some stage. But what will help is if you sand the leading edges of your fins down a wee bit. Just take that razor sharp edge off of 'em. It won't make any difference to your surfing at all, but it can make a moer of a difference as to how much that fins gonna bite you when the two of you tango.
If you really wanna be 100% sure that your fins will never eat you, then grab some ProTek fins. They have a hard plasticized leading edge to them. I bought a set years ago, when first learning to surf, as was freaked out by getting nicked by my fins. They work great, and are still happily attached to my 6ft1 Spowy out in St Francis.
Definitely a consideration for your single fin longboard if you aren't convinced about 'em for your thruster.
Fin cuts - what to do when you get one
Get out the water for a start. Fin cut is one thing, having an interested toothy friend come out to suss you out is another.
Try rinse the wound out with fresh water straight away. Luckily most of the local beaches have a tap or shower you can use. Find something clean to press onto the cut. It helps to keep the affected area above heart level to reduce the bleeding.
If the bleeding repeatedly makes its way through the whatever you holding onto the area, then stitches are likely to be needed. If the blood is really pumping out then get yourself off to casualty or the doc asap - better if you can get someone else to drive you.
Closest doc to the beach is the medical practice in 8th Avenue, opposite the exit from the Summerstrand Village shopping centre - so it's a good place to head if you reckon you're gonna need to be stitched up, as it's literally down the road from the beach.
If it's been raining recently, then might be wise to ask the Doc for a jab for Hep A as well.....the stormwater drains that empty outta the pipes into the surf can spew out some grim stuff after the rains. Fin cut not kiff. Fin cut plus staph or Hep infection very unkiff.
Prevention is better than cure - sand those fins down!