The Ruotolo brothers have been surfing for almost the same amount of time as they have been training Jiu-Jitsu – ever since they were kids!
And they still hit the waves as often as they can, enjoying their lifestyle to the fullest.
However, not every wave session is a successful one. And some are scarier than others…
Such as when Kade Ruotolo experienced a near-death incident.
He recalled it in a recent ONE Championship interview:
The water is a crazy place. The closest I’ve ever been to dying is out there.
When waves are that big, they’re so powerful – especially the wave I was surfing. It’s a beach break, so it just sucks up off the beach and there’s thousands and thousands of gallons of water just moving.
You can’t really control it. When you get smashed, you get smashed.
I pulled into this big barrel. I got smoked, I got smashed, I got picked up, boom, slammed to the bottom.
My leash broke off my board, so I lost my flotation.
Kade tried to keep his head above sea level and swim for the shore, but the waves kept coming:
I just start swimming as hard as I can, thinking I would get [back to the beach] in time.
But by the time I looked up, I almost went backward.
I didn’t make any ground toward the beach because the water is pulling the wave away from the beach.
Finally, he somehow managed to reach his father and his surfing board:
I remember getting under the first two [waves] and just being out of breath and so tired. I was looking for anyone.
I see my dad, and I’m yelling: “Help!”
Finally, I get over to his board and spend five minutes just catching my breath.
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