Paddling a surfboard every day made my back muscles tight . . . If I tweak my neck or back, I recover quickly. The credit belongs to my yoga routine. As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned that the key to staying active is maintaining a flexible spine.

Gerry Lopez, Pipeline Master and yoga advocate, Best Life Magazine, August 2008

According to Hyde and Gengenbach the risk of significant injury doubles for a surfer in his or her 40s or later when compared to a surfer younger than 20 years of age. They also site the following:

  • The older, more advanced, and braver (big surf) you are, the more likely you are to incur a significant injury.
  • The majority of injuries happen in smaller waves.
  • Surfing in overhead waves increases the risk of more serve injuries.
  • The occurrence of significant injury is twice as likely in overhead surf as in waves waist high or smaller.
  • Take off and tube riding are the maneouvers most commonly leading to injury.
The shoulder is most vulnerable to overuse. According to an article written by Sean Fyfe on the Sports Injury Bulletin, this can lead to rotator cuff impingement and tendinitis, resulting in pain in the front shoulder and the deltoid region. A chronic condition like this is most commonly seen in beginners (poor paddling technique) and older surfers (years of paddling).
  • Surf loose – surf better for longer
  • Prevent injuries

Primary Injuries

  • Back pain (back and neck)
  • Knee strain (ACL)
  • Shoulder inflammation (rotator cuff)