Sebastian Kearns-Olivier - Coach & Rider
15 July 2021
Sebastian Kearns-Olivier, AKA Seabas, thought his time on a wakeboard was over after a drunken prank resulted in him having to have his left hand and part of his forearm amputated. But the super-positive rider who helps out at Pier 52 Wake Park in Staffordshire was soon back on the water, proving that disability is no bar to pursuing your favourite sport...
What happened to you?
I got drunk one night with friends at the end of a busy season working at the Glasfryn Wake Park in Pwllheli and it all got a bit excitable. I decided to climb an electricity pylon. I was basically electrocuted and stuck to the pylon. I was knocked unconscious and everyone thought I was dead. I woke up and had to prise my fingers off the wire. My arm was burnt to a crisp, it looked like beef jerky. And I’d lost a lot of blood. It was six years ago. I was 24 and I should have been smarter. I don’t recommend it.
What was the recovery and return to riding like after the amputation?
I spent about 2 weeks in hospital. When I could peel an orange and make a sandwich they let me go and stay with my mum for another two weeks and then I went home to live by myself. The next spring I went back to Glasfryn with some trepidation because it was obviously going to be quite different. The park has two straight line cables with obstacles. I went on the one with a big rail and bigger features and it was really disheartening at first and really difficult because I couldn’t pass the handle easily and it was very tiring. I got a bit mopey and sad but when I went on the other cable which has a lot of rails I had a great time.
I can use my arm as a hook on the handle. I thought long and hard about how to use my prosthetic hand but it would be attached to the handle so it wouldn’t release. I can do single handled passes off the kicker with 360 and 540 degree turns. I got really close to doing a 720. I really enjoy wakeboarding as all you do is pfaff around on the water and if you fall off it doesn’t hurt!