THE DARK SIDE OF PADDLEBOARDING: INJURIES
If you would be brave enough to come with me through this desolated land, you’ll realize how many things we can learn from injuries.
First of all: how to avoid them!
Physician apart, nobody is happy to speak about injuries.
But having a look at the most common injuries in your favorite sport means a better understanding of what you should pay attention to during your training and your session.
I have to say that part of my job is about how to prevent injuries in sports through training.
I do that with many athletes in different sports, and I apply the same rationale to ordinary people as well.
In injury prevention, the best starting point for any program is having a look at the most common physical issues.
I’m going to present you some data from the latest scientific studies about this topic.
How we get injuries
Let’s start with the mechanism of injuries itself.
We can get hurt mainly in two ways:
- from an acute trauma
- from repeated strain
We can link an Acute trauma to a single event that causes damages of different intensities to our body.
Depending on how this trauma occurs, we can talk about direct trauma (falling on board, for instance), or an indirect one, like an incorrect movement which may damage different structures (think about a sprained ankle or knee).
I see many of this kind of injuries during wave sessions and competitions.
The injuries of repeated nature are, instead, caused by less unusual events than a fall, but they’re not less detrimental.
Usually, in these cases, we talk about injuries generated by overload.
What happens is an injury to the muscle, ligament or tendon structures, due to repeated stress not very well tolerated by our body.
It could be the case of hard training repeated without the correct rest period, or a movement exerted with a wrong alignment, like paddling with an incorrect shoulder posture.
We’ll focus on this last example in a moment, but, before that, let’s see some data about injuries in paddleboarding.
According to a report from Furness and colleagues (see the article here), the most common injury in paddleboarding affects the shoulder (about 33%), with the back issue coming at second place (14,3%).
Most of these injuries happen during endurance events like training, leisure paddling or competition and they are not related to direct trauma.
These percentages and the fact that these injuries do not come from any impact give us a lot to think about.
Actually, a large part of the athletes I use to work with, have or had shoulder issues once.
This problem could have different causes, of course, but it’s fundamental to evaluate it and to understand the reason to fix it.
Keep going on with an overview of injuries in paddleboarding.
Strains are most common than wounds with an injuries rate per hour in paddleboarding going two times than surf’s one and less than half compared to kitesurfing.
Injuries rate per hour
Well, the exciting side of it is that you can do something to reduce these statistics: paddling and training correctly.
If you understand how you should paddle following the biomechanics of your body, you will avoid most of the overuse-related injuries.
Moreover, keeping attention to the correct training/rest ratio and the intensity of your sessions, you’ll even cut the injury risk of a more significant percentage.
I truly believe in the importance of this topic.
That’s why I created a whole brand-new workshop about it.
This online workshop will be a full immersion on the most common injuries related to paddleboarding.
We will talk about overtraining, posture, technique, training habits.
After this workshop, you will have a clear view of injuries.
You will learn how to prevent then and how to train smarter.
I can’t wait to have your feedback on this brand-new online workshop.
To highlight even more the relevance of this topic to you, I decided to give you the first section of this workshop for free.
Leave your email address below and you’ll receive this section directly into your inbox folder.
Furness J, Hing W, Walsh J, Abbott A, Sheppard JM, Climstein M. Acute injuries in recreational and competitive surfers: incidence, severity, location, type, and mechanism. Am J Sports Med. 2015; 43:1246-1254
Nickel C, Zernial O, Musahl V, Hansen U, Zantop T, Petersen W. A prospective study of kitesurfing injuries. Am J Sports Med. 2004;32: 921-927.
Patzer T, Hrabal SA, Timmesfeld N, Fuchs-Winkelmann S, Schofer MD. Incidence and mechanism of injuries in cable-wakeboarding: a prospective study. Sportverletz Sportschaden. 2009;23:141-147.
Furness J et al., 2017.