It's the kind of story that brings to mind the old Bionic Man series. The man who created the famed Mavericks Surf Contest is asking fans of the contest to help rebuild him.
Mavericks is one of the most treasured events in the Bay Area.
Thousands of people flock to Pillar Point near Half Moon Bay on 24-hours' notice to see 24 of the best surfers in the world ride waves 30 to 40 feet high.
It's a thrilling event by every account.
The man behind the monster waves is Jeff Clark. Many call him The Maverick Man. It is his call to call the contest.
Clark has surfed Mavericks since 1975 and still does.
But the years of pounding waves have taken their toll on his hips.
He's at UCSF Medical Center now, recovering from hip resurfacing surgery. The problem is his insurance only covers a small portion of the expensive surgery. His bill will be at least $28,000 -- far beyond what a surfer can afford, he says.
"From the time I checked in for pre-op at UCSF on April 28th, it was all go. It really started to hit home -- I had been so focused on being pain-free in the future, that I hadn't really thought about the actual surgery," Clark said.
He's hoping surf lovers will open their wallets and help a hippie out.
Clark is blogging about his journey. The entries include everything from pictures of him in his hospital bed to the first time he uses a walker. That's a far cry from a 10-foot board.
The King Of The Waves left to hope for a handout.
Clark says his goal, beyond being able to pay his bill, is to surf Mavericks pain free by 2010. That is the 35th anniversary of the first time he paddled out solo at the monster break now infamously known as Mavericks.