Dusty Payne (HAW), 23, has been notably absent from the battlefield this season. The high-powered Hawaiian, capable of mixing it up in maxing Pipeline as well as above the lip, injured his ankle in the ASP Prime O’Neill Coldwater Classic at Santa Cruz last year before exacerbating the injury over the fruitful Hawaiian winter season. Although Payne had hopes of joining the elite ASP Top 34 at the opening event of the season on the Gold Coast, the injury proved worse than initially imagined and since then, it’s been plasma transfusions, Nike scientists and the ever-painful waiting game. Surfline recently caught up with Dusty to get the update and see where his head is at for the remainder of the year. This…is their story…
First off, when do we get to watch Dusty Payne surf again?
That’s a good question. I think…sometime this year. I’ll give you that.
Explain how your injury first happened.
I did it up in Santa Cruz during the Cold Water Classic. It was my first heat in the event and I did a little lein air and backwash hit me as I landed and jammed the foot back upwards and compressed it really bad. I kept surfing on it ’cause I pretty much had to requalify.
What was the original diagnosis?
I got it checked out after San Francisco. I lost first round there so I flew home and got an MRI and Dr. Kramer said that I needed to give it some rest. At that point I had surfed through the Cold Water Classic and I did pretty good, so I was like, ‘I can keep going.’ I finished off the Triple Crown and then I couldn’t stop surfing ’cause the waves finally started pumping. So I just kept going and then it just got a little bit worse and a little bit worse and now I’m paying the price.
Talk about Hawaii: Vans Triple Crown, Backdoor Shootout, Volcom Pipe Pro — you used your ankle a lot obviously. Did it give you trouble?
Yeah, it definitely gave me trouble. After the Triple Crown, I actually took a couple weeks off and just rehabbed it a bit and thought it would get better. But then the waves started pumping again and it was hard to stay off it, especially since I was home and the waves were fun and my friends were around. But my surfing was nowhere near where I wanted it to be and I could tell something was wrong because my leg was getting weak and it didn’t feel right. So that’s when I went to Australia and started working with some doctors, Wes [Berg, surf trainer to the stars] and those guys.
Talk about that last surf session.
My last surf was at…
For full interview, check out Surfline’s ‘Injury Update’