In response to many inquiries, Riley Morgan is recovering from his horrific wipe out in the Volcom Pipe Pro. He landed on the wave face with such tremendous force, that he compressed four intervertebral discs which caused slight fractures. Riley wears a small back brace and is recovering, according to his father. Sending best wishes and prayers.
Riley's injury was similar to Andrew Cotton's at Nazarre. In the following video Ross Clarke Jones explains what happened.
When you fall into water from low heights, water cushions you and absorbs your energy. Your body pushes water out of your path and energy is transferred to water in the form of waves. You generate waves, slowing and descending deeper until your energy dissipates. Descent into liquid is only possible, when water has time to move out of your way.
Should you fall into water from a high ledge, you will hit water carrying great speed. Water cannot move out of your way in time to allow penetration. You will momentarily stop on the surface, blocked by water until you decelerate. Water can not absorb your impact, instead your body takes the crushing blow.
. When water does not move it creates resistance. This is fluid dynamics or hydro dynamic lift blocking the falling body. The body cannot penetrate the surface because water asserts a higher pressure than a falling body, Bernoulli's Principle.
A surfboard rides on the surface with lift, generated by speed. The flat surfboard underside optimizes lift. There are times when lift is not desired, such as in nose pokes or pearl dives. Pressure on the bent nose rocker can push a surfboard backward and launch its rider. Nose rocker is essential to prevent the board from diving under. The more nose rocker a board has, the more convex the underside should be. This is to push water out of the board's path and prevent blocking. This is an ancient concept used by mariners and Polynesians to cross vast oceans.