“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

Highway 1 to close west of Revelstoke for avalanche control

DriveBC says the road will be closed between 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

LETTER: Cross is a man of integrity and honesty

Dear editor, Another year has gone and wow are things getting better,… Continue reading

City of Revelstoke workers vote to strike

This comes a day after city council gave themselves a raise

UBCO students raise funds for those affected by Philippine volcano eruption

All proceeds will be donated to the Philippine Red Cross

VIDEO: ‘Porn’ answer was a wrong one for Surrey family on ‘Feud’ game show

Surrey’s Rams competed on the TV show Wednesday night

Abandoned boats left to freeze on Okanagan Lake cause chaos

Over the last week weather conditions have caused three separate incidents

Jack-knifed semi closes Coquihalla northbound

A red liquid is reportedly spilled down the side of Highway 5

B.C. teacher witnesses coronavirus terror in Shanghai: ‘Everyone is on edge’

Face masks and hand sanitizer ‘sell out’ as 9 SARS-like illness cases confirmed in the city

B.C.-based firefighting plane crashes in Australia, killing three

Three people are confirmed dead in the crash in New South Wales

North Okanagan kicks off Family Literacy Week with free books

Province proclaimed Family Literacy Week in B.C. from Jan. 26 to Feb. 2

WHO says China virus not global health emergency

The decision came after Chinese authorities moved to lock down three cities on Thursday

Living near major roads, highways linked to higher risk of dementia, Parkinson’s: UBC

Green space could mitigate some of the risks, researchers found

Most Read