Italian sensation and one of Europe’s most promising competitive up and comers Leo Fioravanti has had a tricky year and half recovering from a broken back, suffered at Pipeline last February. However the last six month have seen an impressive return to form which has landed him the top spot on the QS rankings and teed himself up nicely for tour qualification in 2017. Unfortunately yesterday he once again suffered an injury set back, slicing his face open with his fin during a free surfing warm up days before the start of the US Open. “I had a closeout section and went to kick out the back,” he told Stab, continuing: “I jumped off, my leash outstretched and shot the board back at me. It hit me straight in the face. My head looks like a UFC fighter’s right now. I have a huge black eye and my ear’s swollen.” Despite the injury and the subsequent 20 stitches Leo is determined to surf in his RD 2 heat when competition resumes at Huntington beach, as the event could prove vital in his qualification bid, due to two Brazilian events he’d earmarked to compete in potentially being cancelled. We wish him a speedy recovery and the best of luck in the comp. Watch Leo in action in his most recent clip here.