“Nobody has really looked at non-contact sports, individual sports and more alternative sports,” said Nikolaus Dean, a PhD student in kinesiology. (Black Press Media file)

Not just contact sports: New UBC research finds surfers downplay risk of concussion, too

Surf Canada implemented a concussion protocol in May 2018

New research out of the University of British Columbia suggests the downplaying of the dangers of concussion affects more than just athletes in contact sports, but also those in individual sports – namely, surfing.

“Nobody has really looked at non-contact sports, individual sports and more alternative sports,” said Nikolaus Dean, a PhD student in kinesiology, “despite the fact that there are epidemiology studies suggesting that concussion is occurring at high rates.”

Dean, who suffered his own concussion years earlier while playing lacrosse, interviewed 12 surfers on B.C.’s west coast for his master’s thesis, and found they trivialized the severity of the injury and accepted the risks of surfing while hurt.

“It’s really interesting when you think about that, because surfers don’t have teammates or coaches who may be pressuring them to play through injuries.”

He said they ignore a potential injury because they only have a short time out to surf, they’re out surfing with friends, or wave conditions.

Head injuries are the second most common injury among surfers after lacerations, according to Dean’s research, and occur at a rate “on par” with mainstream sports. Concussions make up anywhere from three to 37 per cent of those head injuries.

“Those who hadn’t sustained a sport-related concussion were a little bit unclear on how to properly diagnose, manage and treat them,” said Dean.

In May 2018, Surf Canada introduced a concussion protocol to help athletes recognize and manage the injury.

“I hope more attention is given to it in the future,” Dean said. “I think this topic will only grow due to the mainstreaming of the sport, with it moving into the Olympics and becoming an international sport.”

The Surf Canada Nationals and Olympic trials are scheduled to be held in Tofino from May 10-15.

READ MORE: New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians



joti.grewal@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Does COVID-19 have you feeling like escaping to the cottage? Don’t do it, says CRD Chair

This will help avoid potentially overtaxing local healthcare services

In times of COVID-19: Williams Lake university student studying in New Zealand

A Canadian student studying in New Zealand is in his second week… Continue reading

COVID-19 case confirmed at Subway restaurant in Cache Creek

Customers who visited the site from March 25 to 27 are asked to self-isolate

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

High cost, limited coverage for asthma medicine a concern during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. man says he skips puffs to save money, but others have it worse

B.C. man sick with COVID-19 calls it a ‘horrible disease’

Tim Green says he has ‘extreme coughing fits every hour’ to clear his lungs

Trudeau says Parliament needs to sit to pass expanded COVID-19 benefits

Wage subsidy program has been greatly expanded since it was first approved

UPDATE: Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Liberals delay release of 75% wage subsidy details, costs: Morneau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

World COVID-19 update: NATO suspicious of Russian military drills; Cruise ships ordered to stay at sea

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news from around the world for Wednesday, April 1

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

Most Read