Hardy's Wings Clipped

The legend affectionately known as hardballs unfortunately had his wings clipped about 6 weeks ago after boosting an invert into the flats over in Margaret River. The hard landing which can be seen in all its gruesome glory above saw Hardy do some damage to the ligaments in his neck, leaving him forced to stay grounded on the boog for quite some time. Fortunately, he is beginning to hit the skies again as we release this. But we thought we’d speak to the man himself about the ordeal and share the footage with the people…


MM: Did you know you’d done some damage as soon as you hit the flats?

RH: Yeah 100% it was a pretty nasty audible crunch, I saw a flash of white light and just the amount of pressure that I felt and tension through the impact of the landing around my neck and shoulders was pretty hectic

What’s the recovery time looking like?

It’s come a long way already and it’s been 6weeks.  It was treated as two sprained ligaments in my neck between C6 and C7 at the back of the neck. I won’t be seeking hectic flats landings anytime real soon, but I’ve definitely been going for a few small backys, inverts and looking for air forward and air rev ramps with nice landings.  I dream of getting back to full strength and going for moves that I’ve always envisioned, especially double rotations like double air forward, 720 rev and double loop… these moves are only possible with full confidence in the body and as long as I believe I will return to 100% body strength, eventually I will get there.

Do you think cutbacks and powerful carves should be more of a focus in our sport?

I think it’s totally up to the individual personally and what they feel like doing at high speed that excites them.  I think they’re both super rewarding, but I do think pulling a powerful full rotation in the air and coming down smooth is pretty hard to beat.  I do think that a full drawn out carve over the rail at high speed on a vertical section is an epic move to both do and watch in bodyboarding.

Should they be rewarded in competition?

Good question, well if it were a reasonably fattish but powerful wave yes it should score well, but on a hollow wave, a deep tube or big launching air is always going to be more radical and rewarded higher from an acrobatic and level of difficulty point of view.

Are you itching to hit the lip again or have you started enjoying staying grounded?

Definitely enjoying hitting the lip again, it didn’t take me long to get itchy and frustrated at not being able to throw myself at lips, although I did enjoy myself for a few weeks there forcefully avoiding lips and still striving for maximum speed and experimenting with cutties on different sections… it was a refreshing change and I enjoyed it!

Video courtesy of Ryan Hardy Bodyboarding School

Edited by Todd Barnes