As with all sports, surfing does not escape the harsh law of karma. Attacked by a shark, struck by lightning, or eternal losers, the surfers you will discover have really had no luck during their career. A look back at these moments and personalities that have marked the history of surfing:
1. Richie Lovett, the king of bad luck
In the category of the least lucky surfers, Richie Lovett certainly deserves first place. First, he was the victim of a shark attack, and as if that wasn't enough, he was also swept away by a tsunami that struck Java in 1994. The wave took him 300 metres, and he miraculously escaped with scratches and bruises.
But the misfortune doesn't stop there. In 2005, when he was ranked 23rd, Richie Lovett learned that he had a very rare cancer of the right hip. Finally, the story ends well because he has beaten the disease, and he still continues to surf.
2. Pierre Tostee, the electrified surfer
Pierre Tostee will forever be remembered in the history of surfing as the first athlete to be struck by lightning during a stage of the Tour. In 1987, in Newcastle, Australia, Tostee was waiting by the rocks, ready to row to start his series, when a lightning bolt struck him suddenly. After a brief stay in hospital, Tostee returned to the Tour the next day. Finally, he will end his career as a professional surfer to devote himself to journalism and photography, becoming an official photographer of the ASP (ex-WLS).
3. Mark Foo and the fatal leash
Hawaiian Mark Foo, one of the best big wave riders of his time, lost his life surfing Mavericks for the very first time. It was after an incredible combination of circumstances that the surfer left. However, the wave was not the biggest Mark Foo had ever surfed, and his wipeout, shot from two different angles, seemed rather harmless. Some experts explain his death by the fact that his leash clung to rocks - a very rare thing - while a second wave prevented him from coming to the surface in time.
4. Ricky Basnett, the eternal loser
It was in 2008, when he was surfing the Tour for the second year of his career, that his life was to change. Indeed, he holds the sad record for the number of lost series (22 in total). Since then, he has been joined in this category by Alana Blanchard and Raoni Monteiro who, like Basnett, did not win any series during their 2014 season. This accumulation of defeats led to Ricky Basnett's descent into hell, which soon after sank into alcohol, before making his comeback last year.
5. Gary Elkerton and the unattainable world champion title
Gary "Kong" Elkerton was one of the best surfers of the 1980s and 1990s. His impressive career was nevertheless tarnished by only one thing: he never succeeded in reaching his ultimate goal, to become world surfing champion. So determined that he was nicknamed "Kong", he finished second on the podium three times, in 1987, 1990 and 1993. Each time, he was close to winning the supreme title: a very controversial decision by the jury in 1990 at Pipeline in favour of a Hawaiian, or even, defeated in a series with very few points in 1987. Since then, he has been known as "the best surfer ever to have won the world title".
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