The last time Australian surfer Bede Durbidge was in a jersey, he shattered his pelvis during Billabong Pipe Masters. Durbidge returned to competition yesterday at the Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa and looked tack sharp.

Durbidge has had a long road to recovery since last winter’s wipeout that required metal being bolted to his pelvis to hold it in place. Confined to a wheelchair for weeks, Durbidge was worried his career might be over.

“It could have ended my career. It was a pretty horrific wipeout, and a lot of therapy to get back to where I am now, a lot of hard work,” he said in a post-heat interview yesterday.

Despite coming in third, it is incredible to see Durbidge back in a jersey again. Part of his recovery process included coaching John Florence to his first-ever world title this year. Durbidge’s contest know-how played an instrumental part in Florence’s incredible year, and may have just been the edge that Florence needed to finally get over the hump in contests.

Durbidge will surely receive an injury wildcard for next year as he enjoys the end of the year on the North Shore of Oahu. Keep an eye out for him at the remaining contests in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.

Bede Durbidge showing off his frontside hit. Photo: Courtesy of Kelly Cestari/World Surf League

Bede Durbidge showing off his frontside hit. Photo: Courtesy of Kelly Cestari/World Surf League

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