It’s difficult to know just how common injuries in water sports like surfing, waterskiing and wakeboarding are because they usually don’t occur in competitions, especially where doctors and athletic trainers are present. Plus, many of the injured participants probably never go to the doctor or emergency room. What are the most common water sports injuries that do occur?
Surfing injuries can occur to most parts of the body. Lacerations to the head and face and concussions are common. Eye injuries can occur from the tip of the board hitting the surfer in the eye. Shoulder dislocations and knee and ankle injuries are also common.
The most common type of water skiing injuries are injuries around the ankle. Ankle sprains, ankle fractures, osteochondral lesions of the talus, and Achilles tendon ruptures are some of the most serious injuries. The skier’s ankles are bound to the skis, so the impact of a fall can place a lot of pressure on the ankle as the skis go in one direction and the skier’s body the other direction. Lacerations, or deep cuts, and concussions can also occur.
Wakeboarders are more likely to injure their head and neck, with injuries such as lacerations and concussions more common. A wakeboarder can “catch an edge,” throwing him hard into the water, and slamming his head. ACL injuries and ankle sprains are also common in wakeboarding.
Tips to water ski and wakeboard safely
Steps to prevent water skiing and wakeboarding injuries