Surf Air Tricks
In surfing, there is such a thing as “Air stunts”, some of the most progressive surfers are able to truly perform such stunts, professional athletes push the limits of the possible, but you have to pay for everything.
Most often, injuries occur on the ankle of the athlete, less often the foot is injured. During jumping and being in the air, the legs are safe, but unforeseen problems can begin at the moment of landing on the water. At the moment, the development of surfing tricks does not stop by the interaction of the surface of the board, or the surface of the water, now most surfers try to show themselves also in the air. Sports, medical practice shows that as soon as an athlete begins to leave the surface of the water, soaring into the air, the risk of injuries increases, especially with regard to the athlete’s ankles.
Tim Brown, who is vice president of ASP, has been working with professional surfers for about thirty years in sports medicine, and he also conducted research on athletes from the NBA, whose sport is directly related to jumping and injuring the ankle. He identified a problem with the legs and the possible treatment without side effects in the future. According to him, injuries have a place to be, if it comes to such tricks, which are called “air.” Injuries of this kind are inherent just to basketball, when an athlete landed unsuccessfully – gets injured. The reason for such injuries is the evolution of modern surfing. The frequency and height of the performance of “airs” by professional athletes has increased greatly, which increases the chances of an unsuccessful landing.
surf air_1 “It’s like a time bomb,” says Brown. “Everyone knows that the surface of the water surface is changing, the swell is changing direction, the wind can change the wave in an instant, even the wave itself is often unpredictable. Thus, the athlete takes off, and will land in completely different conditions and there is no one hundred percent confidence in the successful outcome of the trick. To be honest, the human body is not ready for such bullying, which is subjected to it by athletes professionals. As the intensity and complexity of the stunt grows, so does the trauma. ”
“The latest sports trend in aerial acrobatics is very clearly defined,” says Taj Barrow, who himself was injured by breaking four metatarsal bones in his foot and Lisfranca’s left leg joint while trying to land frontside air in 2005. “Athletes perform such incredible jumps and turns in the air that it leads to injuries, even if the surfer is young and flexible.”
To minimize such problems, professional surfers are increasingly turning to medical specialists for help, as well as for preventive training. These preparations include classes on the C.H.E.K system, which include: a personal trainer, yoga, a gymnastic ball, as well as adjusting the muscle balance of the legs. And if an athlete gets injured, medical specialists begin treatment using experience gained from other sports, such as basketball, in which athletes’ legs are constantly exposed to injuries.
Pro-surfer Koloha Andino had to consult with six medical specialists after he got an ankle injury last summer. Dr. David Crews, a sports medicine specialist who was part of the Kolohe treatment group, notes that the bodies of athletes are simply not ready for such loads on the legs and if surfers want to minimize or avoid damage, they need training techniques that are used in gymnastics . By doing so, they will be able to maximally make the muscles and joints of the legs elastic.
For example, exercises that increase balance skills, as well as the correct execution of jumps, gymnasts practice these skills at the beginning of their training. The approach was also applied, taking into account the specifics of surfing, the athlete was asked to jump and land not on the floor, carpet, or other stable object, but on a specially created structure that imitates a changing wave.
surf air_4The purpose of such training is to increase productive touchdowns without possible injury, due to the athlete’s readiness for changing conditions and improved, well-balanced athlete balancing. Due to repeated repetitions, the athlete develops muscle memory, which is also produced on the wave, but the wave can cause injury, and such exercises teach the athlete new skills and without causing injuries.
However, another problem arises – are such trainings enough to compensate for the damage that can be caused to the body of a surfer throughout his career. The most serious injuries of the ankle can put an end to the athlete’s further career. Perhaps already, some athletes are paying for such acrobatic stunts, no longer having the opportunity to engage in their favorite sport.