Surfers could benefit from safety education: survey

June 7, 2011

Lismore, Australia – One out of every 3 surfers suffers at least one surfing-related injury a year, according to a survey released June 3 by Australia’s Southern Cross University.

The nearly 700 recreational surfers surveyed by the university’s School of Health and Human Sciences most commonly reported injuries to their knees, ankles, lower back and shoulders. Dehydration and skin damage from excessive sun exposure also were reported.

“While surfing is seen as a healthy outdoor activity, safety is an important issue. This includes not only ocean knowledge, but also physiological aspects, which can sometimes be overlooked,” said lead researcher Rudi Meir. “An injury prevention program that focuses on increasing the stability and mobility around these joints may help reduce the incidence of these injuries.”

The report highlighted the need to provide surfers with information on adequate fluid intake, sun protection, the importance of warm-ups and functional training techniques to reduce the rate of injury.