Annabel Anderson is a powerhouse among action sports. A competitive skier, mountain biker, triathlete, and SUP racer. She is widely considered the best female SUP (Stand Up Paddle Board) Athlete in the world. After winning the 2018 Pacific Paddle Games, she may be the best in the world of anyone, male or female.
Annabel just took a gigantic tumble after accidentally skiing off a cliff in Treble Cone, New Zealand. The event has made her rethink her career.
“8 weeks ago I misjudged a what I thought to be a windloaded compression/contour in the hill. It turned out to be a blind 5m bluff that had a face that turned back up the hill and a moment of the OH F$&Ks. For that fraction of a moment as I got launched, I knew I was in trouble. I don’t remember the rest as I was knocked out on the first impact before tumbling 400m top to bottom.”
-Annabel on Instagram.
Annabel took a beating in the fall, breaking her tailbone, dislocating her shoulder, and rupturing a ligament in her knee among other injuries. She was knocked unconscious and has no recollection of the event.
“When I see where I fell it’s like ‘how the hell [did I survive that]’?”
-Annabel talking to Stuff.co.nz
Injuries are nothing new to Annabel. At the age of 16, she broke her leg while training for a spot on the U.S. Olympic ski team. She later injured her knee due to complications following surgery. By the time she turned 24, Annabel had 11 surgeries on her knees and ligaments.
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Despite hardship in her career, there is nothing that could crush her tenacious spirit. At the age of 29, Annabel took up Stand Up Paddle board racing and quickly excelled. She became the worlds best right away.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding seems to be the new must do water sport. The variation of surfing was first practiced in Hawaii and has recently grown into a worldwide action sport. Most of the competitive events involve racing. Annabel was there from the very beginning, claiming the number one spot in SUP racing since the rankings began in 2012.
However, since her injury, Annabel is reconsidering her life in action sports. Stating she does not know if or when she will return to competition.
“I’ve already had six years of being the best in the world. I’ve won every title and beaten the boys. I got to pioneer something and leave it in a good place. I earned a living from doing what I loved – even though I did the last three years of my career without sponsors.
-Anabel speaking to Stuff.co.nz
Her attitude partially stems from the uncertainty surrounding the new sport. There is a struggle concerning the classification of the sport. Surfing and Canoeing are currently battling it out for a platform on the Olympic level and challenging the individuality of the sport.
“There’s no leadership, no governance – and it’s impacting on grass roots, the industry and the sport.”
-Annabel on Stuff.co.nz
Annabel is resting up and contemplating new direction in her life. You can follow Annabel’s progress on her Instagram here.