I grew up in New Jersey and spent my summers risking my life and limb in the action park (literally) so I learned from an early age that wave pools were designed to kill you.
This is a lesson former UFC lightweight champ BJ Penn learned after spontaneously taking a bath in the structure’s engine room, where the only thing floating between him and certain death was a story of “hard pussies” was.
From “The Wunderkind”:
Last year when I was sucked into an engine room of a wave pool thinking I was going to die. I always thought, “Don’t die for your children”. I surfed for about an hour and the line lengthened to catch the wave. I sat next to the owner of the wave pool at the “wall” where the waves come from. The first wave it triggers is a dud to prepare everyone for the next wave. The dud wave came back and because I was so close to the wall, the wave swallowed me and pushed me and my surfboard under a huge concrete wall. I remember feeling like I was being sucked into a pipe and that was when I became scared. It eventually pushed me into a large dark cement room that fills with water to slide the next wave for the wave pool.
It felt like I was in the movie SAW or Final Destination. The room filled up with water and I held my breath and then it pushed the water out to create the wave and it was really rough in there. Everything that hurt me in the room got infected. I got a bad sinus infection and a couple of fractures in my face from being pushed around the cement walls and the dirty water from the fractures got into my face and infected my entire sinus. I took antibiotics on my face for three weeks. While in the machine room of the wave pool I knew one of my Big Island friends was a legendary surfer and I knew he would come in there to save me so I stayed calm. Many others may have panicked and given up, but I just stayed strong for my children.
Anyway, in a nutshell, I survived that motherfucker! The names of the people and the water park have been omitted. I’m not the type to come to your house to play and get hurt and try to sue you so all the best to everyone who helped me get there and helped me survive. Maybe I was the first guy in history to get sucked into a wave pool machine room while it was in operation, but no matter what happens in life and no matter how scary it is, if I can give you advice, I would just say : “Keep calm.” If I hadn’t battled hard pussies all my life I might have panicked, but it was just another day in the office.
Penn fought Georges St. Pierre, Matt Hughes, and Nick Diaz, to name a few.
Unfortunately for the 42-year-old Hawaiian who was once considered one of the sport’s finest pound-for-pound fighters, his potential at the Octagon was never reached. Penn finished 16-14-2 and left UFC after losing seven straight.
But it doesn’t sound like his life has gotten any less exciting.