“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

Bachrach nominated by NDP for federal election

The Smithers mayor won on the first ballot with 446 of 797 votes

Fire ban back in effect for Northwest Fire Centre region

Starting May 24, both Category 2 and Category 3 prohibitions will be in place

Kelowna company wins contract for LNG Canada project in Kitimat

SK Form & Finish will work with equivalent of 4,000 fully loaded concrete trucks

U.S. tariffs on Canadian aluminium scrapped

Joint effort by industry, government and unions secures deal

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Most Read