You may recall back in the early part of 2015 that Ben Player was airlifted to hospital with a ruptured spleen whilst on a surf trip to Ireland. Ben had actually been in the UK to take on a ferocious slab wave he had found and named The Bull on the north coast of Scotland. Ben’s visit was actually being filmed for a short documentary on Red Bull TV and that film called Breaking Bull has now been released and follows Ben as he attempts to tame The Bull right up to the life threatening injury he sustained during a detour to Ireland.
Ben openly admits that there was a strong chance he could die whilst trying to surf The Bull, and before he could attempt to ride the shallow breaking, fast moving wave, Ben had an armoured wetsuit custom made, topped off with a full face crash helmet. In fact there is a moment in the film when Ben walks the slab at low tide and points out the deformities in the rock that in the event of a wipeout could easily break bones, dislocate joints and tear flesh wide open. The film captures Ben during the first session at The Bull, in which he caught three waves and managed to hit his foot, head and back on the reef on each one!
Unfortunately for Ben, that was the only time he got to ride The Bull as conditions changed, so along with Jack Jones he made his way to Ireland and to The Cliffs of Moher, where the swell was creating epic conditions at Aileens. It was here that Ben landed on his elbow during a 360 air and unbeknown to him at the time, he ruptured his spleen. Knowing that something was not right, Ben put it to the back of his mind and headed off to surf Rileys, but before he even made it into the water he collapsed on the slab in front of the wave.
With the help of his friends, the coastguard and paramedics Ben was airlifted to hospital where he spent three days in intensive care with a diagnosis of severe internal bleeding and a torn spleen. The injury, which was only hours from killing Ben kept the three times world champion out of the water for 6 months.
If there is one thing you should do this weekend, it is to find yourself 25 minutes to sit and watch this powerful and enthralling documentary, which can been found at Red Bull TV by following the link HERE. Let us know what you think and would you have the minerals to ride The Bull or do you think it is wave that should be left to break unridden?