Surfing Injuries in Norwegian Arctic Waters

The Open Sports Sciences Journal 30 Nov 2016 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1875399X01609010153



To investigate the frequency, types, mechanisms and treatments of acute surfing injuries in cold and arctic waters, and to compare the findings with studies of surfing injuries from warmer waters.

Materials and Methods:

Retrospective web-based survey relating to acute surfing injuries in Norway. An acute injury was defined as sudden onset, with a clearly defined cause or onset, and leading to an inability to surf for at least one day.


From the 974 respondents, 245 (25%) reported a total of 511 acute injuries. The injury rate was 2.2 injuries per 1000 surfing days (0.74 per 1000 surfing hours). Head/neck was the most commonly injured body part. Lacerations were the most frequently reported injury type. Trauma from contact with the surfboard was the most commonly reported injury mechanism. Wetsuit equipment was used by 99% of the respondents.


Surfing in cold and arctic waters leads to different injuries compared with surfing in warmer waters. These differences may be attributed to the use of wetsuit equipment. Surfing in Norway is relatively safe, however, some severe head injuries were reported which may have been prevented by the use of a helmet.

Keywords: Athletic injuries, Cold climate, Craniocerebral trauma, Lacerations, Protective devices, Surfing, Water sports.
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