After a few months of rest and a quick stint of PT, Matt Banting is back in action after his Tour ending injury in 2015. Now on a mission to redefine and fine­tune his surfing, Matt talks about his road back to the waves.

Photography: Peter Boskovic


I hyper­extended it by basically doing the splits on my board trying to land an air. This happened July 8th 2015. I only remember that because it was the day before the JBay comp started. The actual diagnosis was that I dislocated my knee and over stretched all my ligaments. Luckily I didn't snap any of them. On top of that I received internal bone bruising to the two biggest bones that connect the knee. They pretty much slammed together on impact.

How long did the doctors initially tell you you’d be out?

The first doctor I saw gave me 10 weeks, we were both being very optimistic. Then I got home to Australia and saw Chris Prosser (WSL Doctor) for a second opinion. Soon as he saw me he told me I was going to be out for a lot longer then first expected.

How long did it actually take before you were in the back in the water?

Even after a lot of rehab I still couldn't do a squat. It wasn’t really until late October that I could bend my knee with weight on it. I started surfing again early December 2015 but the surfing wasn't enjoyable. I still had a lot of minor pain and I was constantly worrying I was going to injury myself again. My knee just felt like it was going to snap with any kind of turn or twist. But injuries heal and I started enjoying surfing pain free in January.

What did rehab consist of?

I did a lot of physiotherapy with Chris Prosser combined with a Strength & Conditioning program with Pete Roberts in Lennox Head. Pete has been great, he put me on a bunch of different programs that have really accelerated my recovery.

What's your goal for the year?

I want to find my groove again. Both in competition and freesurfing. Obviously I’d love to do well on the CT and make the top 10. But outside of the WSL I really want to film a lot more, do more trips and put out good clips online. But mostly, I just make up for lost time.