Look around any popular lineup these days and it’s clear: A new age in surfing is here. Never before have we seen so many wave-riding crafts out there—the gamut of modern shortboards, midlengths, longboards, stand up paddleboards, foil boards, kite boards, softboards, finless boards, kneeboards, surf mats, even the occasional kayak or wave ski. Crowds are maxing out, especially when summer throngs peak with surf school beginners and inexperienced novices often unaware of etiquette or how to safely handle their boards.  


In the United States, about 1.73 million people go surfing at least once per year.

They join a total population of surfers that is estimated to be about 23 million people.

(Statistic Brain)


Crowded Line-ups 

This recipe of more people and more boards in more places, more often, is already creating massive traffic jams in lineups around the world. Along with the sheer density of surfers also comes more competition. Nowadays, hordes of hungry surfers jockey, backpaddle and snake on just about any decent wave that rolls ashore. Often we get pushed to drop into a wave from a less-than-ideal position, or get haggled into dropping in too deep up the reef, or simply take off on waves we just really shouldn’t—which puts us all at a higher risk of being hit by a board, cut by a fin and striking the bottom on a nasty wipeout. 

Accidents happen in an instant, most often caused by a crash, bad decision or split-second action. So why not do what we can to protect ourselves, our kids and our ocean-loving communities out there from suffering unnecessary head-related injuries?


Head Trauma

Head trauma is the leading cause of injury for surfers. By far the number one surfing accident is being hit in the head with your own board, followed closely by being hit in the head by another surfer’s board. Most often the results of head-related incidents include scalp or facial lacerations, concussions, nasal fractures, dental issues and perforated eardrums. And this stuff can happen in all types of conditions, not just while surfing big waves or shallow reefs.

Wiping out and striking the sea bottom (coral reef, sand, rocks) are also common causes of injury. Once this happens, it compounds the risk of drowning resulting from a loss of consciousness.

Shelter from Wind, Water and Sun

Beyond impact protection, helmets help keep water and wind out of our ears. This helps prevent a very common medical problem known as Surfer’s Ear, a condition where extra bone forms as lumps grow in the ear canal. Exposure to cold water and wind—especially the combination of the two—accelerates this growth. Its prevalence among surfers is high, with studies saying up to 60–80% of surfers worldwide will experience some degree of Surfer’s Ear during their lifetime.

Helmets can aid in the in the prevention of skin cancer. In a 2015 study from Bond University in Australia, surfers are three times more likely than non-surfers to get melanoma, the most serious strand of skin cancer. The ears, top of the head and forehead receive excessive sun exposure in those who surf regularly.  Every day helmet use can help mitigate that potential damage.

Protect Your Future






July 11, 2022 — Adon Newman
Tags: Safety