Data on surfing injuries is difficult to obtain. While we can determine what are some of the common surfing injuries based visits to emergency departments, we don’t have good information on the numbers of recreational surfers who participate in the sport. Having said that, it is an activity that can cause musculoskeletal and head injuries. Some simple strategies can at least minimize the risk of suffering an injury.
Take time to understand the specific conditions where you are planning to surf. Look for where the water becomes shallow and the presence of any reefs or other hazards in the water.
Surf with another surfer. Watch out for each other and warn each other of any potential dangers in and above the water.
Do not surf in areas or conditions above that which you are capable of surfing. Beginner surfers should not take on more challenging conditions than they are capable.
Engage in regular core strengthening. Surfing requires tremendous balance, so performing core stability work should become a key component of your out-of-water training.
Finally, despite a survey that shows that only 1.9% of surfers reported regular use of helmets, nearly three quarters of surfers believe that protective headgear would decrease the risk of injury. When you are surfing in large waves or around reefs, consider wearing a helmet. While no helmet can absolutely prevent a concussion, they might absorb some of the impact to the head that could cause a skull fracture or other serious injury.