There are approximately 18 million surfers worldwide covering all age groups and sexes.
Types of Injuries Sustained: Almost half of all injuries are lacerations caused by inadvertent contact with the surfboard. A quarter of all injuries are sprains and strains whilst joint dislocations and bone fractures are the third most prevalent together with ear infections.
Bodily Areas Affected: 46 % of all injuries involve the lower limb. 26 % involves the head and face. 13 % will involve spine and trunk and a similar number involve the upper limbs.
Most Common Cause of Injury: 45% of all injuries involve contact with a surfboard. 36% are wipe-outs and 18% involve hitting the seabed.
Injury Prevention Strategies.
1/ Ensure you receive tuition regarding surfing techniques and etiquette from an accredited trainer.
2/ Ensure that your equipment is in full working order and is suitable for the prevailing conditions and for your skill level.
3/ Ensure that you perform a warmup prior to entering the water.
4/ Remain sun safe and hydrated at all times.
5/ Do not enter the water with a pre-existing injury that has not been assessed by a health care professional.
6/ Always wear a wetsuit for sun and skin protection and body temperature control.
7/ Ensure you have access to a mobile phone in case of emergency.
8/ Use a leg rope at all times.