Parker Coffin, the dedicated, upbeat, travel-loving star of Snapt4, has been known to take on some gnarly waves. Even after his near-death experience at Kandui, Parker still charges. But recently, dues were paid at Soup Bowl in Barbados. With his recent wipeout and subsequent head injury, we checked in on where things are for Parker in his healing process.
In the moment, right after you hit the reef, what was going through your head? Were you panicking or calm?
I knew I was hurt for sure, but I didn’t let myself freak out. I knew that I needed to stay in the moment and get myself back to shore, so I tried my best to just make a plan and stick to it. Luckily, it worked and people got to me pretty quick.
It sounds like your recovery is going well! What’s been the biggest obstacle so far?
I’d say the biggest obstacle was for sure the surgery. I saw an amazing surgeon who is one of the best ocular plastic surgeons in the country, but I was awake with my eye propped open looking at her perform the procedure. Three hours of watching her cut pieces of my eyelid off and piecing it together with just local anesthetic. Visually it was intense, and it also didn’t feel that good… that was honestly the most intense three hours of my life, potentially.
Have you surfed at all since your accident? If not, when do you think you might get back in the water?
I’m still not surfing at the moment and am just doing my best to treat the scar tissue… I’m getting these injections into my eyelid that will hopefully break it down and allow the skin to thin out and retract more into my eye socket. I have a few more weeks of that and if it doesn’t work, I’ll need to go back in for a secondary procedure. Don’t really know when I’ll be back in the water but I’m just taking it day by day and enjoying doing other things.
Did this incident change your perspective on surfing?
I’m always grateful to be a surfer… I don’t think that will ever change. I was trying to push myself and sometimes in the process injuries happen. I feel very lucky that I’m still here to talk about it.
Do you ever see yourself surfing Soup Bowl again?
You travel a lot. Is this going to affect that or do you have any upcoming plans?
Until I’m back in the water, my priority is to stay home and continue to heal. Once I can ride waves again, I’ll start to think about traveling but for now I’m enjoying the comforts of home, family, and friends.
Any advice for people headed to surf gnarly locations?
Just send it!!!