Hawaiian Keala Kennelly is known for her toughness, but the wipeout she took during last week’s epically huge swell at Teahupoo would turn most people to mush. Not Keala: She characteristically brushed off her face-first bounce onto the nasty coral of the Tahitian reef, posting a gnarly picture to her Facebook page with the comment, “Sorry if you were eating dinner. (I look much better now I promise).”
The swell pounded women’s charger Maya Gabeira (bleeding ear drum) and current number two male surfer Jordy Smith (dislocated rib), but Kenelly’s injury was by far the most nauseating. She was taken to the hospital in Papeete and had coral removed from her face and skull, then received 30 stitches on her face and 10 in her scalp. Shorty after that, she was back in Hawaii at the farmer’s market as if it was nothing but a flesh wound. Which, in a way, it was…but as they say, that’ll leave a mark.
The photo of her injury is below. If you have a weak stomach, don’t look.
Keala, who in addition to be tough and fearless, isn’t self conscious. She’s just posted additional pictures from her accident.