Pat Caldwell suffers heavy wipeout at Sandy Beach

January 8, 2018 | Bodyboarding
Pat Caldwell: riding the wave that took him down | Photo: Conrad Morgan

Pat Caldwell broke a collarbone while enjoying the shore break waves of Sandy Beach, in Oahu, Hawaii.

The legendary bodyboarder suffered a nasty injury while helping high school Conrad Morgan with water photography in a break he knows very well. Pat won his first contest at Sandy Beach in 1978.

According to his wife JJ Caldwell, Pat could not catch his breath for a while after getting obliterated by a wave like many others he had ridden before. The shot above was taken in the wave that sent him to the hospital.

Lifeguards had to provide him oxygen momentarily. "It was pretty scary," said JJ. In the end, the bodyboarder who's always smiling ended up with a fracture on his right collarbone and ribs, as well as pulled back muscles.

"The lip landed on open dry sand. Detonation sent me flying and landing on my back shoulder area violently. I felt a couple of cracks and instantly couldn't breathe," explained Pat.

Despite the acute pain he suffered, doctors believe he will make a full recovery and won't need to undergo surgery before getting back to the surf.

Pat Caldwell was born on May 14, 1962, in California. He moved to Hawaii with his family at seven years of age, and got his first Morey Boogie board at 12, in 1974.

Caldwell is one of the pioneers of bodyboarding. He was, alongside Mike Stewart and other Hawaiians, one of the first to develop new tricks and maneuvers for the sport - the el rollo was one them.

Pat competed at the highest level for nearly two decades between the early 1980s and the year 2000. Later, he was a judge in the World Tour and served as general manager of the International Bodyboarding Association (IBA).

Today, Pat is one of the most active veteran bodyboarders on the planet. He rides his extensive collection of vintage bodyboards almost on a daily basis.

Pat Caldwell's collarbone: he broke for the second time | Photo: JJ Caldwell