Common Surfing Injuries And How To Prevent Them

Surfing is a fun, popular activity on the Gold Coast with amazing surf spots up and down the GC coastline. It has positive effects on mental and physical health. Most surfers have a desire to surf as much as possible and surf throughout their life. To do this it is vital to know the repetitive movement pattern and the most common injuries to prevent them and enjoy surfing more often.

There are two types of injuries and each type has a common surfing injury

  1. An Acute Injury – an injury that occurs which is unexpected and is usually a one-time injury. The most common acute surfing injury is a laceration, usually from rocks or being struck with the surfboard
  2. A Chronic Injury – an injury that occurs through a repetitive movement pattern and is usually associated with unhealthy biomechanics, short recovery or low fitness levels. The most common chronic surfing injury are lower back, shoulder, knee and neck pain.

Chronic injuries can be avoided by understanding the biomechanics of the body and strengthen the muscles associated with weakness and injury.

Surfing can be broken up into 3 activities, paddling (51%), waiting for a wave (42%) and riding a wave (4%). Because of movement while surfing is performed in an uncontrolled environment, an exercise program with specific surf movements/training should be performed as well as a warm up and cool down to prevent injury.

To prevent surfing injuries it is a good idea to see and Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) for a tailored exercise program. There are also some basic exercises and stretches that can be used to prevent the chronic injuries listed above.

  • External Shoulder Rotation with a resistance band
  • Press Up from the floor
  • Ab Crunch with a Fit Ball
  • Split squat with dumbells
  • Squat with hold and arms out in front
  • Alternate leg lifts (knee at 90O)
  • Glute Bridge
  • Standing Pec Stretching targeting the upper, mid and lower fibres
  • Lying Glute Stretch
  • Standing Quad stretch
  • Lying hamstring stretch with band

These exercises and stretches with help prevent surfing injuries, however, if you already have a chronic surfing injury see your local Exercise Physiologist for a Rehabilitation and Strengthening Program to decrease pain and restore function so you can get back to surfing sooner.

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