Love Surfing? Beware of These Injuries!
Competitive and recreational surfers alike experience injuries every season. Even though this sport is safer than soccer and other activities, it still carries risks. The injury rate is about 6.6 per 1,000 hours of surfing. Sprains and strains appear to be the most common.
Luckily, there are ways to minimize risks and enjoy this sport safely. Annual physical assessments, preseason conditioning, and regular practice are a must.
How Common Are Surfing Injuries?
According to a survey conducted on 1,348 surfers, approximately 739 reported suffering acute major injuries. Competitive surfers had the highest risk. About 47.1 percent of injuries resulted from contact with the ocean floor or the surfboard. The remaining 52.9 percent resulted from paddling and wave riding.
From concussions to lacerations, surfing injuries are common. The best thing you can do is to prevent them in the first place. If you do suffer an injury, getting immediate treatment is crucial. This will help prevent complications and accelerate recovery.
Types of Surfing Injuries
Many surfers experience lacerations after falling from the board or getting smashed by a wave. This type of injury causes a deep cut or tears in the flesh or skin. Keala Kennelly, for instance, had one that required 30 stitches.
Head injuries and concussions may occur as well. They cause nausea, headaches, dizziness, double vision, confusion, and pain. You might also experience weakness and loss of balance. These injuries require emergency treatment. Consider wearing a hard-shelled helmet, especially if you’re surfing in a heavy shore dump or over shallow reef.
This sport involves repetitive movements, such as paddling. Over time, it may cause wear-and-tear to your shoulder joints. You will experience pain, tenderness, and limited range of motion. In this case, physiotherapy can help. A sports therapist can use massage, mobilization, and other techniques to stabilize the muscles of the shoulder and relieve pain.
Physical therapy can help you prevent injuries before they even occur. After all, there’s a reason why pro surfers have their own physiotherapists. It’s one of the best ways to prepare your muscles and joints for the demands of surfing and boost your performance.
On top of that, a skilled therapist can develop workout plans based on your individual needs. This can greatly reduce injury risk and improve your overall fitness.