Gettin’ Broke Off: Morgan Wade

Gettin' Broke Off
An Interview With Morgan Wade
Text and photos by Ryan Fudger.

I've spent a good few minutes with Morgan…we've had our ups and downs. I've told him tricks were a bad idea only to have him laugh in my face when he pulled it first try. I've seen him take the beating of a lifetime on something not worth the hassle. And I've witnessed Morgan do a couple of the craziest things I've seen with my own two eyes. Through it all, Morgan has taken more than his share of injuries, and after seeing him hobble around the hotel after Mirra's King of the Animal House contest, I figured it'd be no better time to get a full tally.

Those flipflops aren't for show; Morgan's ankle was too swollen for shoes.
Those flipflops aren't for show; Morgan's ankle was too swollen for shoes.

{a} "One time I counted how many stitches I’ve had in my face. I don’t remember the exact number, but it’s over 130 on just my face! I smashed upper lip open and got 30 stitches and I've split my chin open five times, I think… Plus seven staples on the side of my head."
{b} "I’ve been knocked out too many times."
{c} "Broken nose five times."
{d} "Broken my six front teeth out four of five times…"
{e} "Separated my left shoulder two times. Broken my right collar bone three times and my left once."
{f} "Bruised left lung three times (I coughed up blood all three times)."
{g} "Cracked every rib down the right side of my sternum and broke two ribs on Bruce Crisman’s shoulder."
{h} "Dislocated pinky finger on left hand."
{i} "Broken pinky finger on right hand."
{j} "Staph infection in bursa on right knee three times (it almost killed me)."
{k} "Broken right leg/Dislocated foot (got a titanium plate and eight screws)."
{l} "Broken both big toes."
** There’s been too many sprains, cuts, scrapes, and bruises to list! And I’m sure I’ve missed a few here, but that’s what happens when you’ve had one too many concussions… you start forgetting things!

Before Morgan 360'd this infamous gap, he roasted a turndown over it.
Before Morgan 360'd this infamous gap, he roasted a turndown over it.

The idea for this came from how much of a wreck you were after Mirra’s King of the Animal house contest. What was it about the contest that made you come away looking like ground beef?
Oh man, Dave’s contest was awesome! I went into that contest wanting to ride the best I could, because it had the potential to be the most fun contest of the year! I was having a blast in the prelims, too. Everyone was going nuts and feeding off of each other. I pretty much just tried everything I thought of, and ended up wadding up quite a few times! Hence the "ground beef!"

Looking at the list above, what injury stands out as the most painful?
The broken leg/dislocated foot was the most painful! It sucked, my foot was dislocated for about two and a half hours before it was popped back in! They gave me morphine at the hospital for the pain and it didn’t do anything! As soon as it was popped back in the pain went away and hasn’t come back to this day.

Classic roastage.
Classic roastage.

What about the scariest at the time?
The scariest at the time was the first staph infection in my knee. I didn’t know it was infected at the time, so I didn’t do anything about it. I thought it was just swollen and would heal on its own. It was a little painful, but not too bad until one night I’d gone to bed and got up to go to the bathroom. When I stood up I collapsed on the floor and couldn’t move. My dad carried me into the emergency room that night and they sent me home saying I had the flu. The next morning I felt even worse so we went to our family doctor and he looked straight to my knee and sent me back to the hospital. I was in there for a week, they had to drain my knee and pack it with about six feet of gauze. The doctors that actually fixed me told us that if we’d waited another day to come in I probably would have died!

Are there any lasting affects… you know, that BMXer limp, crooked fingers, or rocker feet?
Not really…at least not yet! The finger that I dislocated doesn’t work properly anymore. It’s crooked and doesn’t bend right anymore, but that’s about it for lasting effects.

Toboggan drop-in to the wedge on the opening day of the Santa Clarita park.
Toboggan drop-in to the wedge on the opening day of the Santa Clarita park.

While others talk about every single ache and sprained toe, you never really complain about being hurt. Does it not matter or are you tougher than most?
I just don’t like crying or hamming it up for sympathy. I see a lot of guys crash and act like they’re about to die or even actually cry, and then ten minutes later they’ll be riding again like nothing happened. I can’t stand that! I do have a high tolerance for pain, but I don’t think that makes me tougher than most. If you’re hurt, you’re hurt… If you can shake it off, shake it off!

If someone out there wants to rack up a list of beatings like you, what advice would you like to pass on?
Stay away from the teeth! It’s a huge bummer to break out teeth—it doesn’t really hurt—it just costs so much money to get them fixed. There’s a pain that I don’t have a high tolerance for, wallet pain!

Mountainbike assisted thread the needle.
Mountain bike assisted thread the needle.