Bloodsport: Ben McPaike.
First up, quick introduction, who you are / where you’re from an your backstory in boogin’?
So my name is Ben McPaike, grew up on the Westcoast of NZ in greymouth. I borrowed a mates bodyboard one day down the beach when I was around 14 got smoked in the shories and was instantly hooked! I’m lucky enough to have arguably NZs best bodyboarding wave a stone throw away from my house a epic right hand wedge that’s world class on its day called the Blaketown wedge which has produced alot of NZs top bodyboarders.
Can you describe the conditions the session you were injured?
So the old shoulder injury. Myself and a few other Blaketown locals had headed far far north for a national comp, a place where everything is very spread out and some of the surf spots are an absolute mission to get to. The comp was held at a beach that was around a few headlands with no proper road only accessible by 4wd and takes about 30mins, so we had to cram into what 4wds where available and take the trip round the headlands and where greeted with 3ft light offshore Aframes up and down the beach.
Okay, talk us through how the injury happened and what it felt like in the immediate aftermath?
Well this day definitely wasn’t my day. I got pure rubbish waves during my heats and then the last seconds of my knock out heat I took off on a left (Blaketown bodyboarders are well known for there inability to go left haha) I gave a pathetic attempt at an invert on a close out section and some how landed on my board arm stretched out, I kind of felt the pop but didnt think it was to bad.
As I made my way back in a guy was heading out for his heat and said “Are you alright mate?” I replied with “Yeah, knocked my shoulder a bit”. He just looked at me and said “You’re shoulders fucked!” and then the pain hit like a ton of bricks. I had completely dislocated my should turn ligaments and chipped bone.
Now describe what happened after the initial injury to get you medical care?
So initial medical care was the choice between panadole or some dope offered to me from locals, I took neither. The ambulance was rung but had the issuie of getting from a remote beach to a road, so someone kindly offered a ride to the road and about 4 others also took that offer and jumped in it was snug and not ideal traveling like that with a dislocated shoulder, I felt every bump of that brutal 30min 4wd track and what added to it was getting the truck stuck in sandy half way through the drive which took 10mins to get out. We made it to the road and finally got some decent stuff to numb the pain they got me to hospital and got me on the ketamine which turn made a several hour hospital visit feel like 10 seconds but the one thing that really stuck with me before the ketamine really took control was hearing a nurse say can I put it back in? Iv never put a shoulder back in place, I’m glad i could be her first.
What was the recovery / time/ rehabilitation process like?
Recovery sucked a year of physio with no progress then finally went under the knife then more physio, heaps of time out of the water and off work. I’d say my shoulders at about 75% of what it should be and is probably as good as it will get which sucks. Iv actually dislocated my other shoulder playing league and that’s also about 75% so at least they are evenly weak haha.
How does the injury affect your life on land and in the water today?
Left handed waves scare me! It’s a very rare occurrence for me to catch a left but I do think about my shoulder when surfing left hand breaks and it does make me nervous. I work as a sparky so I do a fair amount of over head work and constantly have to stop of 5 second breaks cause my shoulders kind of stop working but all in all they arnt to bad I manage pretty well.
Any other information, shout outs or acknowledgments you’d like to include feel free here.
Oh so also up where the comp was held is a heavy right hander called the box nzs version of Western ozzys box, I had been searching photos absolutely fizzing to surf it, the day I fucked my shoulder it had been to small and wasnt really breaking well the following day it pumped heavy 6 foot bombs and I sadly just got to sit on the hill and watch as the rest of the comp was held out there! Big shout out to old Jolza kilkelly and Ads McLean if it wasnt for them that trip would of totally sucked balls but they made a tragic trip into a fuck hilarious trip!!