Preventing Injuries while windsurfing

Surfing on the water with the help of a sail is called as windsurfing. The equipment for windsurfing usually includes a board which has a sail attached to a free-moving mast. There are foot straps also on the board which help the individual remain secure. The individual needs to hold a horizontal boom and move the sail to catch the wind and sail accordingly.

Stamina and balance are required as the very important physical skills. And as a fact, any individual who is well-trained and safety-conscious, the risk of injuries is comparatively lower. But, when injuries occur, they can get severe. Common windsurfing injuries include the feet, chest wall, ankle, knee, and also include fractures, cuts, bruises and sprains.

Common windsurfing injuries

  • Skin damage – During windsurfing, the skin is prone to cuts, sunburn and bruises. Marine wildlife, for example, jellyfish, can sting or bite
  • Direct impact injuries – Blows to the body or head caused by collision with the sea bed or equipment can also lead to serious injuries
  • Back injuries – Muscle pain or strain or disc injury is also very common. Most vulnerable part is the lower back.
  • Sprains – The ligaments of the foot and the ankle are particularly vulnerable when it comes to windsurfing
  • Fractures – Ankle and foot are prone to fractures as these injuries are prone to occur when the person falls off from the board and in case their feet are hooked under the straps
  • Dislocated shoulder – This is another common injury while windsurfing. The shoulder gets dislocated when the person falls from the board but is not able to let go of the boom
  • Other risks – Hypothermia and near drowning are also other risks attached with windsurfing.

Risk factors for windsurfing injuries

Factors which increase your risk of injury while windsurfing include:

  • Lack of fitness – In case you are unfit and have poor stamina and poor flexibility, you are much more probably to get hurt playing any kind of sport.
  • Inexperience – Beginners are usually at the risk of injury since they lack the skills or technique which is required to meet the demands of the game.
  • Poor technique – In case you are not aware of the techniques, you will put unnecessary strain on muscles and joints, and this can lead to a lot of windsurfing injuries.  
  • Lack of protective equipment – You need to ensure that you are wearing protective equipment, for example a helmet, as it can help you to save yourself from severe injuries.
  • Certain manoeuvres – Jumping, catapult falls and high-speed falls are also injurious.
  • Damaged or Poorly maintained equipment – This includes not checking for worn ropes, a cracked universal joint, loose fittings or damaged sails before entering the water.

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