The Hobgood twins have spent their whole careers matching each other. First {{{CJ}}} won the Nationals, then Dam did. First CJ made the tour, then Dam did. But when CJ stopped competing last year because of a ankle injury, nobody expected Dam to follow suit in 2004, electing to forgo the final two events in Brazil and Hawaii to repair ripped cartilage in his left shoulder.

“Mundaka’s really where it came apart, but I’ve babying it for a while,” explained Damien soberly on his way to get surgery this morning. “It’s not like an ankle or a knee. I could’ve pushed it. But it gets to the point where you need to get it done.”

“Besides,” he continued. “If I do it now, it’ll help make sure I’m {{{100}}}% by the beginning of next year.”

Fortunately, with Damien currently sitting seventh on the WCT, he doesn’t need to worry about qualifying for the 2005 tour. But there’s even more reason to celebrate. After marrying longtime girlfriend Charlotte Lawson last Saturday, Dam’s original honeymoon plans were to go straight to Brazil. Now he gets to do whatever he wants.

“Well, we did sneak over to Vegas for a couple days,” he admits. “But once this surgery’s over maybe we can do something bigger. Just gotta keep the heavy luggage to a minimum [laughs]. “

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