• July 24, 2024 1:38 PM



WORLD tour surfer Fred ­Patacchia has implored recreational boardriders to stay away from the Snapper Rocks break during the Quiksilver Pro after being dropped in on and having his competition board trashed during practice earlier this week.

The Hawaiian world No. 21 had three holes punched in his favourite board and left the break with a welt on his arm after another surfer ran over him at Snapper Rocks on Monday afternoon.

Patacchia posted an Instagram photo (below) of himself after the event saying a “piece of me has just died’’.

“All my confidence and momentum has just come to a screeching halt,’’ he said in the post.

Pro surfer Fred Patacchia was shattered by a recreational boardrider. Pic: Luke Marsden

Pro surfer Fred Patacchia was shattered by a recreational boardrider.

 (Pic:Luke  Marsden. Source:News Corp Australia)

The incident led the amiable Patacchia to implore the hundreds of surfers who have flocked to surf the famous point to stay away unless they can show some respect.

“Surf etiquette is a big thing that I think a lot of people are starting to learn,’’ he said. “It’s just about education.’’

Patacchia is not trying to keep locals out of the water. He recognises the rights of ­locals who regularly surf Snapper to be in the line-up.

But he said like other professional athletes, the professionals needed to practice and those unfamiliar with surf ­etiquette or not able to tackle the conditions, should sit out the contest fortnight.

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Patacchia was struck as he paddled back out to the line-up by a rider trying to avoid another surfer who had dropped in on his wave.

“It spooked the other surfer and he came straight down at me because all his attention was aimed at the (other) guy on the wave and I got completely run over,’’ he said.

“I tried to protect my board at first. I put my arm up, the board hit my arm and after that I just protected my head and face.

“And then I came up and there were three big holes in the bottom of my favourite board.

“I almost felt like it would have been better to have stitches in my head.’’

The incident is far from a one-off, with hundreds of ­surfers jostling for position and priority this week after the swell rose, with one longtime local saying the line-up was the most crowded he had seen in a decade.

“This is just a wave that is very user-friendly for pros, for amateurs, even beginners,’’ Patacchia said.

“The local guys, they do demand and should get the waves they want, regardless of whether we’re here or not.

“But it is a dangerous wave — it’s a world-class wave and some of the people that are out there — and this is not a personal attack on anyone — I feel like they shouldn’t be out there. They have to hone their skills a little bit better, become more aware of their surroundings and be able to actually surf this wave before they’re out there.

“When (the professionals) are here, I just think it would be really nice if people … gave us a little bit of leeway.’’

In a small victory after his disappointment, Patacchia’s board — which had three holes from the underside to the deck — was repaired by Gavin Upon, which will allow the ­Hawaiian to continue with his favourite stick for his Round 3 match-up against Tahiti’s Michel Bourez when the Quiksilver Pro resumes.








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