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Athletes who can’t afford their near death experiences.

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Tom Lowe’s Tahiti wipe-out last month has brought into focus a series of issues in relation to care and this type of extreme sport.

$40,000 medical bill the Tom Lowe does not have and in fact that he relied on a Greg Long another big

Justine Dupont surfs a huge wave at Cortes Bank, California, United States on January 11, 2023. // Frank Quirarte / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202301310002 // Usage for editorial use only //

wave surfer to organised GoFundMe to pay his medical bills.

At the time, the online consensus on this seemed what a good community to be helping out – but what does it say about the state of the industry if a surf pro with Tom’s profile is relying on his mates to pay his medical bills?

This NY Mag piece is so timely. Decent mainstream takes on a culture with some real cracks in it  

Read it here.

Small segment from the article

“Then things got even worse. Lowe’s travel insurer denied his injury claim, and Lowe was stuck with a $40,000 out-of-pocket medical bill. “For a traveling surf dude, to get a $40,000 bill is pretty intimidating,” he says. “There’s no gray area — I just don’t have it.” Vans Europe, his sponsor, certainly did, but when his medical bill came due, it had no legal obligation to help. Because like most sponsored surfers, skateboarders, snowboarders, skiers, mountain bikers, and other action-sports athletes, Lowe is an independent contractor, which can leave him exposed in the kind of worst-case scenario he experienced.”

Read it here.

Justine Dupont surf a huge wave at Cortes Bank, California, United States on January 11, 2023. // Frank Quirarte / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202301310007 // Usage for editorial use only //

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