Bourez broke his hand and a vertebra while freesurfing Teahupo'o, one of the most challenging -- and punishing -- waves in the world, which also happens to be his home break. Bourez took a death-defying tumble, and was taken to the hospital for immediate surgery. He will be out of the water for a minimum of six weeks.
"It is terrible to hear the news of Michel's injury," said World Surf League (WSL) Commissioner Kieren Perrow. "He is the defending event champion and will be missed at this years Oi Rio Pro. We wish him a swift recovery in time for the next stop in Fiji."
Bourez won the 2014 Rio Pro, defeating Kolohe Andino (USA) in the Final. It was his second CT win of the season and set him on pace for a Top 5 finish in the final rankings for the year.