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Myles Padaca began surfing at age 11 on the Big Island at quality breaks around Kalapana. Volcanic activity in the late 80s/early 90s eventually consumed those spots and Myles relocated to the North Shore of Oahu to pursue a pro surfing career. Over the next 15 years he became one of the most successful and respected surfers and big wave riders to come out of Hawaii, winning the internationally coveted Vans Triple Crown of Surfing in the winter of 2001, and appearing regularly as an invitee to the Quiksilver Eddie Aikau....
Today, Myles works with the Nike surf team and cultivates future world surfing champions through his company Progressive Surfing, utilizing his wealth of competitive and industry knowledge. He has been on the cover of every major surf publication and featured in the likes of Vanity Fair, Men’s Fitness, and Italian Vogue.
Check out some 10 year old history....Posted on: Tuesday, November 12, 2002
Padaca's back on board after breaking leg in surf
Advertiser Staff Writer
Only a few months ago, Myles Padaca's goal was simply to surf again.
Never mind defending the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing championship he won last winter.
In January, less than one month after he won his first Triple Crown title, Padaca broke his left fibula and tibia after he wiped out while tow-in surfing 20-foot waves off of O'ahu's North Shore. In essence, the two bones in his lower left leg snapped in half during the accident.
"It was pretty crazy," he said. "The thought about not surfing again goes through your head. For somebody like me who makes a living surfing, it's a pretty scary thought."
After six months of recovery and rehabilitation, those thoughts have disappeared.
Padaca started surfing again last month, and has declared himself fit to defend the Triple Crown championship — which is awarded to the best overall performer in three North Shore contests held in November and December.
The Triple Crown is scheduled to begin today with the Vans Hawaiian Pro at Hale'iwa Ali'i Beach. That will be followed by the Rip Curl Cup at Sunset Beach from Nov. 24-Dec. 7, and then the Xbox Gerry Lopez Pipeline Masters from Dec. 8-20.
"There are still three screws in there keeping my leg together," he said. "But it's fine — it's 100 percent."
The injury only makes Padaca an underdog again. It is a role he cherishes.
Padaca, 31, has never competed on surfing's elite World Championship Tour. He was raised in the surf off the Big Island, but has spent the last decade honing his skills as one of Hawai'i's best big-wave surfers.
Last year, he won the Rip Curl Cup at Sunset Beach, and became the first non-world tour competitor to win the Triple Crown.
"It was the best thing that could have happened to me," he said. "I got a couple of new sponsors and I think it solidified some longevity for my career."
It also solidified his reputation as a contender in any contest, in any types of waves.
"There's been a little bit of hype on me, and I have to take that in stride," he said. "I'm enjoying it, don't get me wrong. But I would say it's a lot easier when there's no pressure on you."
Making matters even more difficult, two of the three Triple Crown contests are World Championship Tour events this year (last year, there was only one). The WCT events are restricted to the 46 surfers who compete on the tour. Two spots are kept open for "wildcards" to complete the field of 48.
Those wildcards for the Triple Crown contests will include Hawai'i's best big-wave surfers, and they must compete against one another in a special trials contest just to earn the wildcard spots.
Even Triple Crown executive director Randy Rarick said that the chances of a non-world tour surfer winning the Triple Crown championship this year are "astronomical."
Still, Padaca is not giving in just yet. Even while his leg was healing, he kept other parts of his body in shape. In August, he competed in the Quiksilveredition Moloka'i to O'ahu Paddleboard Race.
A few weeks ago, he returned to tow-in surfing on big waves for the first time since the injury.
"I always kept the faith that I would make it back," he said. "I'm just glad to be back doing what I love."