Surfing is a very popular activity with an estimated 18 million surfers globally, with both males and females of all ages enjoying the sport.
Surfing is regarded as a safe sport and the overall risk of injury is low. Injuries that do occur are usually minor, such as lacerations and sprains.
The main cause of injury is contact with a surfer’s own board or that of another surfer. ‘Wiping out’ and striking the seabed can also cause injury to surfers.
There are many ways a surfer can prevent injury, and much of staying safe in the surf involves common sense, so before you grab that surfboard keep these safety tips in mind:
Warm up before surfing. This may include a general body warm up followed by suitable stretches.
30+ sunscreen should be worn at all times.
New or novice surfers should participate in a Surfing Australia accredited surf school to learn appropriate skills and technique and water safety.
- Respect the rights of other surfers in the water.
- Allow everyone to catch their share of waves.
- Only one surfer on a wave at a time. This will prevent collisions, injury and conflict in the water.
- Don’t surf alone.
- Make sure children are supervised at all times.
- Check weather and beach conditions before entering the surf.
- Consume water before, during and after surfing.
- Seek professional advice when purchasing a surfboard.
- Consider a board with flexible fins and a blunt nose or protective nose guard.
- Wear a wetsuit for buoyancy, sun protection and to prevent seabed abrasions.
- Wear a leg rope, especially in large surf.
If you’d like to see how easy an experienced surfer makes catching a wave look, please see here.
If an injury occurs:
- Stop surfing immediately and seek prompt medical treatment.
- If you have a previous injury consult a sports medicine professional to ensure you are fit to surf.
- Have a mobile phone close by in case of emergency.
Smartplay has a Preventing Surfing Injuries Fact Sheet available to download from the Resources/Sport Fact Sheets section of this website. To obtain a hardcopy of the brochure please contact Smartplay on 9674 8777, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you would like some information of other ways in which you can get back to nature, please see here.