View Full Version : fell hard, broke rib??

Father of 5
07-29-2006, 08:37 PM
I was in the couse the other day, long line, 30 mph. I was going from #2 to #3 when I fell pulling hard in the wake. I have never fallen that hard in 20 years. It has been a week and I still hurt bad. I either broke a rib or tore something in my chest. Has anyone had a fall like that? Are there any vests out there that protect better from these types of injuries? We will see if my summer is over...
Thanks, Charles

07-29-2006, 11:55 PM

I feel your pain. Two weeks ago, I bruised my left ribs just below my chest, and ribs in my back just above my kidney. I topped it off with a pretty nice black eye that almost swelled completely closed on me by the time the boat came to pick me up.... And it didn't take them long to turn around after that spill!!

I was just on my first attempt at 22 off and 36mph, hit a very small roller coming out of 3 ball, and the rest is a blur.

Usually I have video running, but I told my wife not to waste the battery, as I didn't expect a very impressive run since it was my first time at that line length going 36. Needless to say, I regret that, it sounds like it was quite the spill.

As for safety, I wear an oneill outlaw vest, and the padding near the important ribs(around the heart) is quite good, I'm sure if I was wearing a thinner vest it could have been alot worse!

I also have dual boots, and am pretty sure they also saved me from any leg or knee injuries. ( I have had 3 acl reconstructions, so the knees are a weak spot for me) The key is to make the binding equally tight, so either they both fall off, or neither fall off ( I choose the latter)

Anyways, I thing cracked ribs are okay as far as healing time, hope you make it back on the water before summer's up!


07-30-2006, 09:22 AM
3 confirmed broken ribs here. July 4th weekend I can say I feel your pain


Ian Brantford
07-31-2006, 08:47 PM
Jet Pilot makes siped vests (for wakeboarding). The sipes really do help to cut into the water on impact, rather than slamming against it. It's similar to the difference between good tires and bald tires in wet conditions. I expect that there are other brands with sipes too.

My two Jet Pilot vests aren't legal floatation gear. They have about half the floatation of a full vest. If I shop for more, I'll look at the marketplace again to see if there are any that are thicker (and maybe even legal). Even without the extra floatation and padding, I still prefer them to any non-siped vest.

08-01-2006, 09:46 AM
I have jet pilot vests also however they are the ones that are certified by the coast guard as floatation devices. They offer more padding and obviously more float than the tournament vests. I was concerned at first that the thicker padding would interfere with movement but they really are still very good.
Ill take a little more constriction to broken ribs any day!!

Father of 5
08-06-2006, 01:03 PM
Thanks for the feed back,
It's been two weeks and I still have some pain. Pulling an engine in and out of my wifes suburban may have something to do with that. I talked to a friend of mine who is a chiropractor and he thought I probably broke the cartilage from the rib to the sturnum in my chest. He said it would take a while to heal. I also appreciate the feed back on the vests. I was skiing in a soft neoprene style vest USCG approved ( I believe it was a Stearns) not a very thick vest. I thought about trying the older style vest that are stiff and covered with rubber but didn't know if I would have enough movement. They are much tougher vest though. I will also look at the Pilot vest. It is hard to figure out what is what from the catalogs and lack of descriptions. I also haven't been able to see what some of the pros ski in. You have to figure they have a great deal of experience with injury and how to avoid it.
Thanks, Charles

08-07-2006, 12:12 AM
Beware of the old style vests. I think the ones you mention are coated ensolite. I have not seen them on the market in a long time. The last one I had split in half and separated on me during a hard fall. Not to mention the rub-rash on the insides of my arms.

I fall as hard as anyone I know, just check out the crash video at the link below.

I use the standard nylon jacket with ensolite inserts. Only had problems a couple of times. Once was knocked out cold. One time I did get an inner chestwall injury, but ribs were OK. That one had a delayed reaction of about 3 days, but ended up with an ambulance ride thinking I was having a heart attack (at 33).

Wearing a close fitting wet suit top under a standard vest may be helpful. I used to wear a wet suit all the time, mostly for protection. Seemed to work.

Strangely enough I found the best way to avoid the kind of falls I was having was to go faster and shorter. Now when I fall it is usually because I know have too much slack to recover from so I just let go, and it is usually in the slowest part of the turn.

Get well soon.

08-07-2006, 01:05 PM
Great video. When were you filming me??

We had a family friend take a pretty hard wreck on Sat. She is 15 and a good slalom skier. She was coming through the wake and buried the tip. She came out the front an hit hard. She has a concussion and has lost her short term memory. She can't remember anything from the last 2 weeks. She kept asking the same questions over and over. The CT scan showed normal, but the doc says it can take months for the memory to return. We are still very freaked out. I could still work with broken ribs or a torn ACL, but without a memory I would be SOL. Just a freak accident, but strange things can happen.

Be Safe!!


08-07-2006, 10:45 PM
The first weekend we had our boat out my son, had just turned 16, clocked hijmself on the wakeboard. Did what we call a Scorpion, face first with board coming back toward head. Did not hit board, but definitely had concusion. He was never unconscious. He lost about 6 months of memory, was not even sure who mom was at first. but after about 4 hours everything came back.

He is migrating toward skiing now.


08-08-2006, 11:05 AM
yep... wearing a helmet while wakeboarding is sooooo important... Ive posted before, and still cant say just what huge difference it makes!

08-08-2006, 11:11 AM
I've never seen anyone wearing a helmet while slalom skiing though. I think people would assume that I am training for the special olympics :p With the amount of slack that I get in my left turns, I'd lose there too!


Father of 5
08-10-2006, 01:00 PM
When I fell I was crossing the wake and pulling hard because I was a little behind in the course. I was pretty low against the boat so when I fell I had no notice and didn't have any time to protect myself or decide which way I wanted to go down. I have the 12 drills for slalom video and I watched it again the other day. Its seems like all the pros pull really hard to the wake, let up a little bit then pull really hard to the turn. It think I was down too low crossing the wake and the ski either came loose or bounced out from under me. It happened so fast I don't really know exactly what happened.

08-10-2006, 05:41 PM
I am going to have to look hard at my videos again. I don't think I have ever heard of anyone saying pull After the wake. By the time you get to the second wake you should be thinking about changeing edges and slowing down. At least that is always what I have understood. But then I am not running the course at 35 off either.

I know at 15 off I start the transition at the second wake (or try to anyhow). I have been told to not pull so long.

What I notice in the videos that I watch is right after the turn/pull - the hands go down low to help maintain angle. Then sty there till the transition starts.

My 2ct.

08-13-2006, 10:38 PM
Originally posted by Smrtz
yep... wearing a helmet while wakeboarding is sooooo important... Ive posted before, and still cant say just what huge difference it makes!

I'm with Smrtz on this one here.
Protec helmets are cheap.
We carry 1 each small, medium and large in the boat.
It only takes one bad fall to kill that mass of muck in our heads....

08-14-2006, 10:23 AM
This is so weird... I was telling a buddy about this thread.. people losing short term memory. We were on our way to the river with the boat. First run, what happens... wham buddy cant remember anything from the last 2 days.. it really freaked us out. Took about 1.5 hrs until he could remember most things. Took him to the hospital told him no more skiing/boarding until he gets a doc's permision.

And this was with a helmet on!! @ 23 mph!!

08-16-2006, 02:38 PM

I was just reading through the forum on Kneeboard Planet. I had no idea you know Chirs on Lake Murray and Kent. Let me know if you ever come down to Murray. Uhh so this isnt a thread hijacking, uhh I support helmut use too.

08-16-2006, 02:39 PM
i mean helmet

08-19-2006, 02:18 AM
My son also lost memory after getting his bell rung. He's sworn-off wakeboarding.

03-14-2008, 01:15 AM
I fell last year when my buddy turned super hard I love pulling hard outside the turn and was going well above the boat speed in a slingshot Lost the edge and 3 broken ribs. Hurt like hell and with a short summer it was brutal but I skied all summer MAn I feel your pain.....


03-14-2008, 01:53 AM
i damaged the cartilage in between 2 of my ribs, wakeboarding that is, 2 years ago.. still hurts to lay one my left side.... ;)

03-14-2008, 11:36 AM
I've hit my head out ther a few times and always wear a helmet wakeboarding now.

It's called global amnesia when you lose your memory for a few hours and then it comes back. Your brain can only contain about 20 seconds worth of new information so you keep asking the same question over and over until it does.

I once had this for about 6 hours and had everyone sacred out of their minds that it was never coming back. catscans revealed that it would be ok but i'd urge everyone out there to think hard about a helmet if you haven't already.

I'm in bed at the moment recovering from a broken femur in a snowboarding accident. These things happen no matter what sport we're in. hahaha


03-14-2008, 11:24 PM
Oh, the war stories we can tell!

My son has had three concussions and torn cartilage in his sternum! He now wears a Helmet!!! Iíve had to call 911 to have the ambulance meet us at the dock so that they could take him to the hospital from his first concussion! I thought he was having a stroke or something! He kept asking the same questions over and over and over! Then he slumped down off the seat into the floor of the boat. His eyes rolled back into his head. Man I freaked!!! I had my Cell phone and called 911.

Funny end to this story is that the nurse tried to take his trunks off (why do they always want to take all your close off???) and he grabbed them and wouldnít let her take them off in the ambulance! Even though he was in the twilight zone, he still had enough oomph to know that he didnít want his drawers taken off!!! It was funny!

One time he was trying a new trick (a transom 720 or something I think) and hit real ugly. He just lay there like a shocked fish or something. Oh, I freaked again!!!

I had to drag this kid (dead weight mind you!!!) from under the armpits up onto the back platform. He wouldn't help at all!!!! I couldnít get him in the boat! A MONKEY AND A FOOTBALL COMES TO MIND!!!! This was when he tore all the cartilage from his sternum. Two weeks later he was back out there, and got the trick right this time!

03-25-2008, 09:30 PM
My wife and I were out late September for a quick pull after super. My wife had skied the river and threw the rope for a rest. I came around and we talked for a bit while she floated in the water. When she was rested I lined her up and away we went. I looked in the mirror and there she was llike she was supposed to be. the next thing I know my son is telling me she's down. that's weird she never even made a cut. I come around and she is screaming in pain. I shut the boat off and I freaking out trying to find out what happened, she doesn't know. 10 minutes later I have her on the swim platform, and 20 minutes later I have her in the boat. She says get me home so I take off, she screams faster so I open it up. We get back to the landing and now I have to get her out of the boat.

Slowly I work her out to the platform again and then I have to pick her straight up on locked arms so as not to casue her more pain. We start home and she starts crying and says she can't feel her legs now. Now I freak, and call 911. I'm screaming down the Hwy pulling our boat at about 80 in a 55. The police tell me to pull over and they'll be right there. But I'm less the 10 minutes from the hospital so I thank them and hang up and step on it. 5 minutes later we get to the emergency. It took 6 resue squad guys to get here out of the back of our truck and my wife weighs like 110lbs.

At first they thought she broke her back, after the MRI it turns out to be a sprain. To this day we don't know exactely what happened.

My wife has decided to take this summer off 8)

03-26-2008, 11:11 PM
Yeah last year I torn my left hamstring and glut (rear end muscle) really bad! I knew how I did it but the funny thing was my wife having to pull my up the hill from our dock in our yellow Lowes landscapping wagon!!!! Then she is grinning as the Doctor in the emergency room was .......checking the muscles that I pulled in my rear!!! I even had to smile a little at that point!

05-31-2011, 04:45 PM
Worst pain ever. every move ya make hurts. I went to chiropractor and he wrapped my torso up with a wide wrap like for an ankle. It helps soooo much. Give it a try.

05-31-2011, 08:12 PM
A thread from 2006, nice! I broke 2 ribs on a hard wakeboarding crash. Horrible pain for months, and I can still feel where they broke 2 years later.

05-31-2011, 09:02 PM
speaking of 2006 whatever happened to sled? he used to share some good skiing advice

05-31-2011, 09:07 PM
stop talking about getting hurt, kind of makes me not want to participate in water sports