How surf training and injury prevention go well together
In today’s surfing world, surf training is very important as surfers are pushing their limits every single day. Trying to land big maneuvers, charging big waves in remote locations, and traveling the entire world for one swell. Meanwhile, the surf industry is setting up their game too; making faster and lighter surfboards, new and warmer wetsuits, and better overall equipment for surfing and big wave surfing as well.
But no matter what, no matter how good our equipment is, and how much we are pushing ourselves. Surfing has become an Olympic game and needs to be added some surf training essentials to be able to compete and surf at the highest levels. Because more and more professional surfers are getting injured more easily as the equipment makes it almost too easy. So let’s talk about how surf training can prevent surf injuries.
What is happening?
If you look more into the professional surfing league, more and more professional surfers are being sent into some kind of injury rehab. Since 2013, the injuries have gone up and some can’t surf some events, half of the season, and in some cases they miss the entire season. We can tell that about 12 out of the top 34 men on the championship tour, have been injured or re-injured with affected areas like ankle, knee, back, and even shoulder.
There was a study done by the Inertia in Portugal. Out of 500 surfers in Portugal, they found that 78.5% of these surfers had already sustained at least one significant surf related injury and an average of 43.9% have been re-injured.
These injuries do not include the simple cuts and bruises that every surfer gets. Only 37.5% of the injuries represent the cuts and bruises. More than 75% are musculoskeletal injuries like muscle stiffness, sprains, torns, joint dislocations, broken bones, and more.
Surfers ear, hypothermia and some cut can be prevented by the use of appropriate equipment like earplugs, booties, good wetsuits, hoodie, and more depending on where you are surfing. In general with a little bit more surf training, we can prevent musculoskeletal injuries.
How do these injuries occur?
All of the injuries like muscle stiffness, sprains, torns, broken bones, and all of the musculoskeletal injuries can occur through:
- Sustained postures, while stabilizing muscles overload. An example would be the extension of your spine when paddling your surfboard
- The impact of your body versus the wave and your surfboard by landing a maneuver that needs a big impact like snapping the lip. Or with your body over the board when lading big maneuvers like floaters and aerial.
- No proper recovery or resting periods. For example that happens a lot on surf trips when you want to surf as much as possible before leaving and you end up surfing for 3 days straight without stretching or resting properly.
- The overuse or gesture repetitions after an intense effort in a short period of time like the flexibility and rotation of your knees when doing a maneuver or going up the lip.
Why should you prevent injuries?
Well this one is pretty simple, nobody wants to sit on the bench and be injured at all times. That is the worse thing when this amazing swell comes in and you are injured so you won’t be able to surf that swell. By the way, it always seems to happen like that. When you are exhausted when surfing, you can get injured even more that way cause your body doesn’t want to do it anymore. Surfing demands a lot of physical movements like standing and paddling transitions that are very explosive, the arms explosive movement when popping up and your legs when doing maneuvers and will make your legs jello. This reduces neuromuscular control and exposes the surfer to a higher probability of an injury happening.
When should you prevent injuries?
Before surfing, take the time to get a good warm from your head to toes, and try to focus on some flexion and extension motions together. Rotation movements are important too as they are used often when surfing, which also puts more stress and overload to the main structure of your body.
After surfing, stretch it out starting with the main muscular groups when surfing and then the little ones.
At the gym, do some functional surf training routines, simulating surfing maneuvers and patterns when done in surfing. Use some unstable platforms like a boss ball, stability ball, Indo board, medicine ball, elastic bands, and more.
For competitions, you need to have a dynamic warm up routine that you do before every heat and use the physiotherapist on site if you have one with some stretching and muscular recovery after your heats.
At home or the gym as a competitor, you need to have a surf training specific program designed for you and what you do with some simple equipment.
Who should prevent injuries?
Everyone should prevent injuries. Whether you only surf on the weekends, or every day surfer, or a competitive surfer, or even professional surfer; every single surfer should do some kind of surf specific training routine to prevent injuries and get stronger overall.
Now the only difference that matters when surf training should be intensity, duration, and frequency of workouts. All of these depends on your goals, your surfing experience, age, health and fitness levels, and of course previous injuries.
After all surf training has too many benefits for anybody to just ignore. So get started today with our surf ranks program and lets start preventing injuries while also getting stronger step by step.