What Are the Most Common Surfing Injuries?


The sport of surfing has become increasingly popular over the years, with an estimated 18 million people worldwide now enjoying the waves. The appeal of surfing lies in its ability to provide both a physical and mental challenge, along with a deep connection with nature. For many surfers, the sport becomes a way of life, one that is filled with adventure, camaraderie, and deep respect for the ocean. However, the thought of how common surfing injuries are, makes some people scared of trying the sport.


What are the most common surfing injuries? Knee ligament sprains and shoulder tensions and dislocations happen to surfers most of the time. Surfers also usually suffer from cranial and facial fractures, cuts and lacerations, and bruises due to powerful strikes from the board, bottom, rocks, or coral.


Surfing is a safe sport with a low overall risk of injury. Compared to other sports, the risk of injury while surfing is relatively low, at just 0.26 injuries per surfer per year, or 2.2 injuries every 1,000 surfing days. Most of these injuries are not severe. This post aims to teach you about some of the common surfing injuries experienced by surfers and how to prevent them:


Knee Ligaments Sprains


When surfing, the ligaments that comprise the knee are constantly at risk for damage. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) and the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are the most often to receive surfing knee injuries.


The ACL is frequently injured when the surfer places the front leg in a turning motion while keeping the back leg stable. The second typically occurs due to the board’s abrupt motions when surfing. Both wounds are hurtful.


The least severe ones call for up to 3 weeks of uninterrupted rest. Meanwhile, the more complicated ones call for up to 8 weeks. Those are cases of tears. You can treat knee ligament sprains by applying a cold compress, pain relievers, and temporary immobilisation.


Shoulders Tensions and Dislocations


Overuse can result in tendonitis or injuries to the shoulder rotator cuff. This condition may impact the entire region up to the Deltoid. Untreated illnesses may develop into chronic problems that many novices experience because of the wrong techniques.


Surfers can avoid shoulder dislocations and tensions by warming up properly and doing enough stretching prior to and after surfing. The right surf camp will show you the right exercise phase before and after the session if you’re learning how to surf. It’s a simple thing that will benefit you.



Cranial and Facial Fractures


Surfers are vulnerable to powerful strikes from the board, bottom, rocks, or coral. Complex fractures may result from these collisions, mainly if brain tissue is involved.


The most frequent injuries are the ears, eyes, spine, and skull damage. These are all major categories of injuries. Therefore you must use all precautions to avoid moving the injured person simply to get him out of the water.


Most surfers use cork boards to avoid cranial and facial fractures because they considerably lessen the likelihood of trauma. Wearing helmets is another option. Note that your priority is safety more than anything else.


Cuts and Lacerations


Cuts and lacerations are other common surfing injuries that happen every day. When surfing, we risk getting cut or torn by a partner’s board, our own board, the fins, or outside objects like coral or rocks.


When these wounds are not severe, they do not pose a bigger threat. You run a considerable danger of infection if they are deep and have heavy bleeding, though.


It is crucial to apply antibiotic ointment to the injured area. It greatly minimises the possibility of infection. Cover the wound after that. If it is in a contact area like hands or feet, make sure to keep them clean while you cure.


To avoid the worst surfing injuries like lacerations and cuts, observe caution, especially when surfing in nearby corals, rocky areas, etc. Some people wear gloves or water shoes; if possible, always keep a simple first aid kit ready with you.




A blood vessel rupture that doesn’t result in an outward injury is referred to as a bruise or contusion. A moderate force impact can harm tendons, muscles, and in some instances, organs. Even though there is no external bleeding, bruises can cause internal bleeding.


Treating bruises immediately is the best way to prevent them from getting worse. Also, apply cold-heat contrasts, utilise anti-inflammatories, and rest well.


Other Common Surfing Injuries


The common injuries from surfing usually happen to the face, leg, head, back, arm, and shoulder. Aside from the injuries mentioned earlier, other common surfing injuries include the surfers’ ear and swimmer’s ear.


Body Parts Most Frequently Injured


According to surfing injuries statistics, leg injuries are the most frequent among surfers (46%). Facial and head injuries are also prevalent (26%), followed by trunk/back injuries (13%) and arm and shoulder injuries (13%).


Cause of Common Surfing Injuries


Contact with a surfer’s own or another surfer’s board accounts for 45% of injuries. Meanwhile, 36% are how common surfing injuries are from “wiping out,” and 18% are from hitting the seafloor.


Various strategies, including proper planning, technique, tools, practices, and injury management, are required for effective injury prevention. Preparation is also important.


Surfers must warm up before their activity. A general body warm-up and appropriate stretches may be part of this. Also, wear sunscreen (SPF 30+) at all times. New or inexperienced surfers should enrol in a surf school to gain the proper technique, skills, and water safety.




Some surfers suffer injuries that are more severe than others do. These more severe injuries can have a long-term effect on the surfer, making it difficult or impossible to surf again. Following these tips will ensure you know what to do to reduce the risk associated with each activity. By knowing the risks involved in activities, you can take steps to reduce your chances of being injured or experiencing an accident.


Injuries are an unfortunate yet common occurrence in the sea. However, it is worth knowing how to act before them. By being aware of the dangers and taking precautions, you can help avoid injuries. If an injury occurs, it is important to know how to treat it properly to prevent further damage.


Also read:

How Can Beginners Train for Surfing to Improve Their Balance and Strength?