RESEARCH ARTICLE


Surfing Injuries in Norwegian Arctic Waters



Gunn-Elisabeth Ulkestad1, *, Jon Olav Drogset2, 3
1 Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
2 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Trondheim University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway
3 Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway


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Creative Commons License
© Ulkestad and Drogset; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/legalcode), which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway; Tel: +47 95 17 42 45; Fax: +47 73 91 40 80; E-mail: geulkestad@gmail.com


Abstract

Objectives:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusion:

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.