After an amazing 2018 season that saw Roswell Rider Cory Teunissen take the overall Pro Wakeboard Tour Title and finish 2nd overall in the WWA Wakeboard World Series, he was forced off the water with an injury that he had been silently battling all season. On top of the world and in a position to strike while the iron is hot, Cory showed cowboy toughness in pushing through every event and photo shoot with an obligation to perform and the desire to just keep his shoulder in socket along the way. An Australian summer that normally consists of riding on his home waters with family and friends while dropping mind blowing clips to keep the world of wake on their toes, turned into a major surgery and the road to recovery.
Off the water for 6 months, Cory isn’t missing a missing a beat and returns the waters of the Yarra River for the Nautique Moomba Masters March 8-11. With just four weeks to get ready for one of the biggest events of the year, Cory is as focused as ever with plans to pick up right where he left off.
For those who don’t know, fill everyone in on the injury that took you off the water for the last six months.
So for those who don’t know, I ended up tearing my left Labrum in my shoulder March last year. I got it checked out and they said it would be fine for the rest of the year and nothing would come of it. Famous last words right? So I competed in Moomba a week later and did really well. I then headed over to the states and started getting ready for the season when I crashed out and really did some damage to my shoulder. I was riding with my roommate Guenther Oka when it happened and my other roommate Max VanHelvoort took me to the ER. I got scans done and it came back with a full labral tear. Me having no past experience in shoulder injuries, I had no idea what a labrum was or what it’s role in your shoulder was. So I played ignorant and didn’t go out of my way to get more knowledge into what had happened. I played dumb and took it day by day for about 6 months, riding, training and competing.
Throughout the season, I dislocated my shoulder about 8 times, even shooting with Roswell a couple days before the Nautique US Masters. I got home and had already had planned to have a meeting with the best surgeon in Brisbane. I got more scans done and he pretty much said my shoulder was shot. One of the worst he had seen in a while, because of all the damage I had caused through the season. The way he explained my injury to me was, your shoulder is a ball and socket joint right. The labrum is the socket holding your shoulder bone in place. So when I had torn my labrum the whole way around, I had nothing holding my shoulder in place apart from my surrounding muscles. That’s why when it dislocated, nothing was holding it out exactly, so it would just pop in and out of place. He didn’t give me an option, he told me he was cutting me up a couple days before my 21st birthday.
How has recovery gone?
Recovery has been great! I talk to people that have had reconstructions done and they say it is a mission going through rehab and stuff. But I generally enjoy being fit and active and going to the gym. So for me, yes I have had one arm for the last couple months, but I still have had been active and doing what I like doing. So when I look at it that way, it hasn’t been too bad. The worst part for me was when I woke up after surgery and the 3 days afterward.
Let me paint you a picture real quick. So normally when you need surgery you have the initial injury, and see a doctor and he tells you the crushing news. So you’re already on such a low, then you get surgery which then almost gives you a slight bit of hope that things are going to get better (generally). For me was completely different. I came off the best season I’ve had, living life the way I wanted to, having no regrets and just generally frothing on everything I was doing. To then waking up in a hospital bed not being able to move and in just extreme pain. I never had that initial low point because my injury was 8 months before that point. So for me, after waking up from surgery and the 3 days prior to surgery were the worst because I just crashed. I had so much regret and doubt if I made the right decision, I didn’t want to be in that situation and everything was just super unclear. But after the 3 days had passed, I started noticing progress with recovery then I climbed out of that hole I was in and things started to get better.
Your trainer works with some of the top athletes in Australia. What has it been like to have the opportunity to be on such a high-level program alongside such big names?
Yeah, it’s absolutely amazing. He knows his stuff and I haven’t found a person like him. But it’s not the level of training that does it for me. For me
it’s being around such a positive environment and surrounding myself around some great people. I have definitely changed as a person in the last few years just being around these great people.
What kept you busy during your time away from the wakeboard?
Honestly, just the drive to get back on the water. For the first 2 and a half months I was sweet and I wasn’t missing wakeboarding at all. I was enjoying the time off. But then I had a lot of people ask me if I was missing it, and the more people asked me, the more I thought about it and the more I realized how much I missed it. I never thought I would’ve missed wakeboarding as much as I have. Really makes me appreciate when I get to ride and makes me understand that it is all worth it. But while I have been home I have moved into my own place just across from the beach. So I have had time to work on the personal side of my life and do what I want to do. I’ve really enjoyed hanging out with my family and building stronger relationships with them and all my friends. Also, I’ve been surfing a lot as well. So surfing has gone from an interest of mine into a passion which has been a massive help.
With Moomba Masters coming up when were you able to get back on the water to start riding again?
So I got given the all clear about 3 weeks ago. So I have been riding since then. And I have absolutely been loving it.
What was the first time back like?
Was sketchy man. It was also really hard for me. It was hard to come back and not be able to ride the way I wanted to. But the more I rode the more confidence I got back and things came together.
What is your mindset coming into the event?
I can’t wait mate. It’s going to be awesome. Moomba is my favorite event of the year. So I’m excited to get back there and be back in that environment again. As far as actually competing, I’m anxious, I’m excited and I’m ready to see how everything goes.
What is the best part about competing at Moomba?
Honestly just the whole vibe of Moomba. It’s in the city of Melbourne, I have a lot of friends that live down there so I get to catch up with them. There are hundreds of thousands of people there screaming for you. It’s a pretty crazy experience but I eat it up every year and embrace it.
Catch Cory at the Moomba Masters LIVE online at https://www.moombamasters.com.au/