Like many of you, I’ll never forget my first real encounter with a coral reef. I was at a beautiful place called Bingin, in Bali, where there’s a perfect short left that fires over a treacherously shallow reef. Having grown up on predominantly sandy right hand beach breaks I was feeling a bit out of my comfort zone but thought that if I could drive through Kuta on a scooter (and make it out alive) then I could do anything. To make things even sketchier that day, there were some freaky low tides going on and a frothing crew of goofy-foot chargers hovering on the inside. I took off on my first one and got a nice little cover-up but didn’t make it out. No problems, didn’t even get caught on the inside. Second chance came around and I grabbed the rail, put the brakes on and watched the light at the end of the tunnel fading off into the distance – stalling is not really needed on such a fast, punchy wave. Instantly I was spinning around in Balinese oblivion. I brushed the reef a couple of times but the worst was still to come. I stood up and turned around just in time to see the entire ocean suck backwards, leaving me ankle-deep on the craggy reef with a meaty four footer bearing straight towards me. I braced myself and stood at attention in helpless defiance before getting dragged face down over what seemed to be the entire length of reef. Emerging I surveyed the damage, which luckily was restricted to a mashed up knee and shins that looked like a tenderised steak. Mmmm, steak. Limping up to the warung (accommodation) the nice Balinese lady pulled out some of that special red Chinese medicine, familiar to many of you who have travelled the tropics, and proceeded to douse my legs with that and fresh lemon juice. The pain was undescribable but the stuff worked and kept my legs from getting an immediate infection. Some proper medical supplies would be ideal right now and travelling surfers should, unlike myself on that trip, always be prepared for the worst. That’s where a new product designed for surfers, the NaturalFooted first aid kit, comes in.
ReviewOn first appearances the NaturalFooted first aid kit is a compact case with a nice, sturdy zip. Open it up and a plethora of modern medicine’s treasures are packed ingeniously inside. The kit is awesomely comprehensive and really thoughtfully compiled, specifically for the kind of injuries that surfers endure.
From band-aids to painkillers to scissors, tweezers, condoms, even a sea urchin picker, the kit has it all. In detail, it includes:• Scissors
• Cotton balls (5 pk)
• Gauze (5 pk)
• Sterile gloves
• Compression bandage
• Fabric bandaids x 15
• Non-adherent adhesive dressings x 7
• Fabric adhesive tape
• Wound closure strips
• Sea urchin picker
• Surfer’s red ointment
• Pawpaw salve
• Condom x 1 (there’s loads of space for more if you’re planning some action)
• Herron Paracetamol (Handy 4 pack)
• First Aid & Travel Handbook
A look inside
The First Aid Handbook is probably my favourite bit of the kit as it offers excellent medical tips and guidance for injuries ranging from spinal damage and shark attacks to lacerations and Diarrhoea.
Everything you need in an emergency…
It’s pretty easy to put together a first aid kit yourself before you head on your trip (or buy a generic one) but it’s likely that you won’t think of everything – or know how to use it all. I am a massive fan of this product because it is made by surfers, for surfers, and it guides you through the process of treating yourself using the kit and actually recovering. I reckon it’s worth keeping in your car and at home as well as for that next surfari.
I’m almost looking forward to my next injury so I can get this swish kit out. It’s even got that red Chinese medicine in it, which I now know is called Die Da Yao Jing Red Liniment. But let’s just call it the funny red Chinese medicine, hey?Rating
***** Editor’s Choice
Something no surfer should be without
Check out www.naturalfooted.com and note the other kits they do for anglers, backpackers and adventurers.