17 months ago, 2x World Champion Tyler Wright fell ill in South Africa. Temporarily hospitalised, Tyler was forced to pull out of the Jeffery’s Bay Open. She was diagnosed with Influenza A, and then there were complications. These complications have sidelined her from competition since.
Today, 17 months after she fell ill, Tyler is announcing that she is ready for her next phase of recovery – pulling on the jersey and surfing in a World Tour event once again. The 2x World Champion will compete in the final event of the 2019 season, the lululemon Maui Pro, with hopes of re-joining the WSL World Championship Tour in the 2020 season.
"Maui is the next step in my recovery process",” explains Tyler.
“I’ve taken a lot of steps to get to this point, and it’s been a lot of hard work. And after Maui, there’ll be another step.
“I’m not sure what pulling the jersey on will be like, or what is going to happen. But I’m okay with that. That’s part of the reason why I’m here, to expose myself to that competitive environment again. It’s part of the recovery process and I’m ready to embrace it.”
Prior to competing in Maui, Tyler has spent the past few weeks chasing swells around the Hawaiian Islands, testing her strength in bigger waves.
“I love being back in the water. I haven’t surfed this much since I was 14. I’ve got boards everywhere, I’m exposing myself to bigger and heavier waves and I love it.
“When I started feeling sick, they said I had Influenza A. I obviously had complications from that. It’s taken me 17 months to recover. It messed up my brain and my body. I can feel that I’ve been out of the water for a year-and-a-half. I can feel that I’m 10 kilograms lighter. Things are different. It is an adjusting period. But like I said I haven’t surfed as much as I have in the past few months as I have in the last couple of years. I’m excited about that and I’m excited about everything that I’m doing. It really is all a trial at the moment… it’s part of taking those steps to come back.”
Watch Tyler as she surfs the long walls of Honolua Bay during lululemon Maui Pro, starting on November 25 in Honolua Bay, Maui. Tune in via the World Surf League.