“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

Just Posted

St. Michael’s KIDS Care Centre and Little Saints kindergarten celebrated

Little Saints Junior Kindergarten will be ready to go this fall

A hint of NHL favoritism?

“There will certainly be lots of side stories, bottom stories, involved to draw my attention.”

Historic maps reveal obscure Arrow Lake place names

Place Names: Little-known Arrow Lakes names

New head of library services at Trail Riverfront Centre

Samantha Murphy filled various positions at the Trail library over the past 5 years

Police investigating felling of old cedars at Cottonwood Lake

One of the cedars was 300 to 450 years old

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Canadian killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Most Read