Nic Hibdige (K-700) injured his left knee in June. After a good 2018 competition season and a 13th place at the first PWA event in Bonaire Nic was hoping to carry the momentum in 2019 but he had to withdraw from all the other events due to the injury. By now he has recovered again, is back on the water and is more than happy and fully motivated for the upcoming windsurfing season.
Check out his recent video and our interview below.
Continentseven: Nic, how are you doing and when was your last windsurfing session?
Nic Hibdige: Everything is going really well thanks. Living the winter dream at home, going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark! Luckily we had a really good autumn which was perfect for building things up after the injury. My last session was about 3 weeks ago now which sucks but I’m keeping busy surfing and skating when I can.
How did the injury actually happen?
Don’t know if I really want to tell you haha. I was wake surfing off the Isle of Wight on a sunny Sunday for my mates birthday just 6 days before flying to the Canaries. Managed to tear way over half of my MCL after folding my knee somehow… I really think it was one of those you can’t avoid… it was just meant to happen for some reason I guess. On the other side of it all now I’m sort of happy it did. The last few months have been really interesting and I’ve learnt a lot. I’m just so lucky I only did damage to the MCL.. everything else is actually really healthy according to the MRI scan.
And how did you spend the long period without windsurfing?
Over 3 months off the water before returning to real short strapless sessions… It was over 4 months without jumping moves.
How much did you miss to drive to the beach having a wild session on the water?
I missed the release you get from being on the water more than anything, doesn’t really matter about the conditions. It’s just nice to reset the brain.. I got so fed up of the exercise bike and rehab stuff every day. Luckily I had a lot of good people around during the summer so had plenty of company and people to keep me sane!
“I just felt reconnected with my love for it all and it made me so happy!” (Nic about his love for windsurfing)
How did it feel stepping on the board again for the first time?
It was so refreshing having the time off. My first few sessions were literally 15 minutes of carve gybes… I spent more time warming up then actually windsurfing but I just felt reconnected with my love for it all and it made me so happy.
How often did you make it on the water since you got the ok from your doc?
I was windsurfing at least 3-4 times a week from the beginning of October because we still had the daylight hours and the wind was non-stop. The past few weeks have just been raining.
How is your level of recovery now? Are you almost at 100% again?
The knee is pretty much there now at 5 months, it’s probably the most serious I’ve ever taken myself. Sort of refocused and set all my energy each day on getting back and being in top shape. I’ve always looked after myself but I’ll never take my health for granted again. I’m feeling very confident with it now however there is still some work to do for certain movements.
Did you lose skills, feeling rusty or were you able to land all the moves from the beginning on?
Any long amount of time out of action will leave you a bit rusty but my mind was so switched on when I finally got the first proper session…I just had so much fun. There are still some things that don’t feel amazing which are the sort of combinations with lots of twisting like Spock Culo and tweaked top turns.. impacts from jumps feel solid.
Yentel Caers is the new PWA freestyle champion. Was this a surprise for you?
I always knew Yentel would win a world title one day, he’s just a beast in competition. I mean he was Steven van Broeckhoven’s Padawan.. the guy works so hard and is just a power house on the water. He has had so many consistent results over the last years. I think he really deserved it. It was also cool Gollito didn’t get his 10th world title so we can keep him hungry and pushing the sport.
Will you be back on tour in 2020?
Sure I am looking forward to getting back at it. I’m interested to see what the PWA have in store for us in 2020. I was told I would hear about the injury wildcard after Sylt, but they have been a bit quiet.. all should be okay though. 2019 was a bit of a bummer, but 2020 is going to be a special one no matter what happens.
You had your debut on tour in 2014 and 2018 was a pretty good year for you with top 10 results. Do you think you will continue like that?
I’m hoping to finally show the best windsurfing I can do. 2018 felt like a big step forward and I was really hoping to carry the momentum in 2019. I started really good with the event on Bonaire so to blow the knee out in June was pretty heartbreaking, but shit happens.. all good though, more fuel for the fire.
Do you have any winter trips planned, yet?
Working till mid-January time then let’s see… I’m hoping to drive down south and get some consistent wind and waves to start 2020 with the good stuff!!
Thanks for the interview and good luck for 2020!