Increased acute lower limb injuries are associated with completing aerial manoeuvres in surfing

James Furness, Wayne A Hing, J Walsh, J M Sheppard, Michael Climstein

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review


Question: Is there a higher incidence of acute lower limb injuries in surfers who complete aerial manoeuvres. 
Design: Retrospective observational study of recreational and competitive surfers. Participants: 1,348 participants completed an online survey consisting of three sections: demographics, acute and chronic injury. 
Results: Surfers completing aerial manoeuvres reported a significantly (χ2=10.3, p<0.01) higher incidence of acute injury (62.4% versus 50.9%). Conversely there was a significantly (χ2=4.9, p<0.05) greater association between chronic injury and surfers who did not complete aerials manoeuvres (28.9% versus 36.5%). This was expected given those carrying chronic injury would perhaps be disinclined to complete such challenging manoeuvres. Younger surfers were more likely to complete aerial manoeuvres with a significant difference (t=15.5, p<0.001) in the age of surfers (mean ages 25.7 ±9.2 years versus 37.5±12.9 years). Of the 194 participants who completed aerial manoeuvres, 44.3% suffered from an acute lower body injury which was significantly higher (χ2=27.3, p<0.001) than for those that did not regularly perform aerials (27.6%). Conversely there were an increased percentage of upper body acute injuries in those that did not perform aerials over those that did (32.1% vs. 29.4%). Though this difference was non-significant (χ2=0.7), it indicated that this association between aerial manoeuvres and acute injury was only associated with the lower body. 
Conclusion: These results suggest that surfers who complete aerial manoeuvres on a regular basis should be performing conditioning (strength, proprioceptive and flexibility) exercises to assist in the prevention of lower body injuries.

Key Practice Points:  Aerial manoeuvres are associated with a significantly higher incidence of acute lowerbody injuries in surfers  Younger surfers were more likely to perform aerials manoeuvres.  It is recommended that surfers completing aerial manoeuvres should be engaging in surfspecific conditioning (proprioceptive, strength and flexibility) exercises.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
EventAustralian Physiotherapy Association Conference 2013: New Moves - Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 17 Oct 201320 Oct 2013 (Book of Abstracts) (Conference Program)


ConferenceAustralian Physiotherapy Association Conference 2013
Abbreviated titleAPA Conference 2013
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Increased acute lower limb injuries are associated with completing aerial manoeuvres in surfing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this