Jeremy’s Concrete Wipeout

Jeremy is an English teacher from Shenyang and a transient surfer who has been hanging out on the island for the past couple months.  As we all know, surfing has its ups and downs, its good days and its bad.  Last Thursday Jeremy was towing along on the back of a Jeep on a longboard (tow-in street surfing, in other words), breezing down a shady alley in 85-degree sunny weather when he suddenly and inexplicably suffered an epic concrete wipeout.  Actually, the wipeout wasn’t inexplicable—his board hit a manhole cover and he ate it.  Rather than supermanning across the pavement, Jeremy held onto the Jeep’s roll bar, leaving his upper body unscathed while his knees and feet bore the brunt of the impact.

The injuries weren’t pretty: twin patches of skin missing from the instep of each foot, large chunks gone from each knee, and a sizeable chunk of missing flesh under one big toenail.  If the wipeout wasn’t enough, Jeremy decided to take a masochistic approach to cleaning his wounds by first scrubbing out the wounds with soapy water to get rid of much of the bacteria and micro-gravel particles stuck in his skin.  That wasn’t so bad to watch.  Later after one of the locals-Vicky aka Lala-returned with medical supplies and from there it got ugly.  He cleaned his knees with an alcohol prep pad.  ‘That tickled,’he said, but there was more to come.  Jeremy doesn’t do things timidly when it comes to road rash and cleaning his wounds-mostly.  Three weeks ago, he stepped on a piece of glass in Riyuewan and cleaned it out with hot water and several syringes full of Baijiu (Chinese firewater) and sealed it all off with superglue.

I digress.  He now had a bottle of iodine is his possession. I asked him if he wanted me to pour the iodine on his feet wounds.  He looked at me, laughed and said, ‘What kind of masochist would I be if I couldn’t pour the iodine on my own wounds?’  He then took a few deep breaths, looked at his wounds and poured on the iodine dousing them in total.  He sucked breath between his teeth, grimaced, had a few beads of sweat pop out on his forehead.  We (Jeremy and I) can’t really remember what he said but it was definitely along the lines of ‘that really stings’.  Lala and the Surfing Hainan cleaning lady, Shen Jie, proceeded to help Jeremy bandage up his wounds.  His feet resembled the beginning of a mummy.  It wasn’t pretty, but it was workable and walkable.  Well, more of a shuffling than a walk.

Four days after his epic wipeout, Jeremy is on the mend and plotting a winter trip to the Mentawais.  His current Indo trip has been cancelled in light of this injury.   In the spirit of a champion, Jeremy has learned from his mistake and reminds everyone not to longboard in flip flops.

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Jeremy on a better day.


Again, a better day.

Devastation strikes.


A group effort to bandage torn feet.


Scrub it, kook.


Safety first, 安全第一