Skip to comments.Study: Surfing Safer Than Soccer, Basketball
Posted on 01/03/2007 5:53:58 AM PST by ShadowDancer
Study: Surfing Safer Than Soccer, Basketball
Soccer, Basketball Players Harmed More Than Surfers
POSTED: 12:55 pm EST January 2, 2007
Surfing: Is it really safer than soccer? A new study says it is.
While public perception may frame surfing as a dangerous sport, the new research begs to differ. In the first study of its kind, researchers have computed the rate of injury among competitive surfers and found they are less likely to be harmed than collegiate soccer or basketball players, according to a press release.
"We found that competitive surfing has a relatively low risk of injury -- 6.6 significant injuries per 1,000 hours of surfing -- compared to other sports for which comparable data is available," said lead author Dr. Andrew Nathanson, an emergency medicine physician with Rhode Island Hospital's Injury Prevention Center. "However, the risk of injury more than doubled when surfing in large waves or over an area with a hard bottom."
Since the '60s, surfing has grown in popularity. But there is little information about actual surfing injuries.
Nathanson and his research team collected injury data from 32 surfing contests worldwide, including professional and amateur events. The groups documented every acute surfing injury suffered during competition, as well as wave size, mechanism of injury and treatment.
"Significant" injuries were qualified as those that prevented the surfer from surfing for one or more days, resulted in a hospital visit, or required on-site suturing.
"Sprains and strains to the lower extremities, particularly the knees, were found to be the most common injuries reported. This is likely due to the aggressive turning and aerial maneuvers, which score highly in competitions, but also appear to place high stress on a surfer's knee," Nathanson said.
He is also an emergency physician at The Miriam Hospital and an assistant professor at Brown Medical School, both in Providence, R.I.
Previous studies conducted by Nathanson researching the injuries of recreational surfers found that lacerations and contusions were the most common reported injury. In those studies, sprains and strains to the lower extremities were the second most common injury among contest surfers.
Most of these injuries were caused by direct contact between a surfer and a -- either their own or another surfer's.
"The fact that cuts were found to be less common among surfers during a competition makes sense since it's a more controlled environment compared to a recreational surfing-type atmosphere. In competitions, there are a limited number of surfers in the water during each heat and the skill level is very high. On the other hand, recreational surfers are often trying to catch waves in a dense crowd of surfers of varying abilities," said Nathanson.
The authors said that even though age and gender had no bearing on the injury rate, wave size and bottom type, independently, were significantly associated with a great chance of injury.
Nathanson said the injury rate more than doubles when surfing in larger surf (overhead) compared to smaller waves, as the energy of waves increases as it grows in height. He also said that a sea floor with a sandy bottom is much more forgiving upon impact than one covered with reefs or rocks.
The research said that that establishing an injury rate for surfing is not just of academic or general interest, but also has implications for the insurance industry and for schools that may want to start a surfing team.
"The information could also help to predict the needs of medical staff support at contests and aid in the design of safer surfboards and protective equipment such as helmets," Nathanson adds.
To reduce the risk of injury while surfing, Nathanson suggested good physical fitness, seeking local knowledge before paddling out to an unfamiliar break, and being realistic in terms of your ability level and the size of the waves, according to a press release.
The researchers said that further study will be needed to determine if the injury rate for recreational surfers can be evaluated and to evaluate effectiveness of modifications in surfing equipment on reducing the incidence of injury.
Led by researchers at Rhode Island Hospital and Brown Medical School, the findings of the study are published in the January 2007 issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine. The study was funded by the University Emergency Medicine Foundation.
My dad had it and got it zapped out without a problem. ....so optimism wouldn't be misplaced.
Nah, succer players simply pretend to be hurt.
Are you guys fans of Dick Dale?
Father of surf music that he is, you bet!! Legend in the world of guitar music, Dick Dale must be 70 and still tours!
"If I say it's safe to surf this beach, then it's safe to surf this beach!"
He actually turns 70 this May. His shows still kick butt. I've been to a ton of concerts in my time, and Dick's are by far the loudest, and best of all, the sound quality does not suffer.
He's also one of the nicest guys you ever want to meet. He sticks around after every concert to meet, sign autographs, and take pictures with every fan that desires it. He'll also personally respond to any e-mail sent to him via his website.
41 recorded, on the Pacific Coast, since 1950 according to a Shark Research Committe report I read awhile back.
There were 100+, if IIRC, attacks reported during that period if you include swimmers, divers, etc., etc.
Pretty rare considering how many people take to the water every year. That's why I personally never worried about it.
I was more concerned about getting hit by an out of control board...and that happened several times.
Also, I like your home page. I went ahead and added a "States I've Been To" graphic to my page.
70, huh? Hope he gets to stick around quite awhile longer...
I wasn't until I heard him live in some bar in Hermosa Beach in the late 80's. He even played with a couple of the original Del-Tones if I remember right. It was an awesome show...loud too.
I learned to surf as a kid on the Jersey shore in the 70's. From Sea Bright on down to Long Branch. After I moved to California I kept asking myself why It took me so long to go west. Although, I have to admit, there was no place like the Jersey shore in the late 70's.
Check out my post #29.
Although, I have to admit, there was no place like the Jersey shore in the late 70's.
There are still parts of the Jersey shore which are really nice. Two of my friends own restaurants in Long Beach Island, so I spend most of my shore time there nowadays.
I think that's a dolphin--the dorsal fin is curved instead of pointed, there's no second dorsal fin, the nose is bottle-shaped, and the tail looks flat instead of long and pointed like a shark.
But still, upon first glance it sure looked like a shark, and if I saw that in the water three feet in front of me I wouldn't hang around to investigate it too closely!
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