Due to the increase of popularity in the sport of surfing, a spotlight has been shone on the rise of concussions within the community. This spotlight has led many to turn towards traditional sports helmets as a solution. Should there be more innovation towards surfing helmets along with a possible requirement for surfers to be wearing them?
Do surfers need to wear helmets? While “there’s not really a culture of paying attention to head injuries in surfing” says @UCLABrainSPORT Director @griz1, a growing concern of #concussion in the sport makes him an advocate for safety precaution.https://t.co/SA0FDRQbZa pic.twitter.com/7bt01ywVSY
— Michigan Concussion Center (@UMichConcussion) December 4, 2021
Surfing is a sport that has gained more popularity as the years go on, with making a first appearance at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. It is a sport that shows the beauty and dangers of nature, which comes with the unexpected.
For decades long we have witnessed the dangers of concussions; how they affect our brain and possibly our behavior. With only a couple of helmets specifically designed for surfing, an emphasis on surfing head safety is clearly needed. One of these helmet brands is Simba Surf Helmets, founded by professional surfer Terry Simms. This innovation is a step into the direction of safety in surfing that people need to be more aware of.
Helmets, why are they so important?
In other extreme sports like skateboarding, snowboarding, and even wakeboarding, we want to protect our heads from injury by wearing a helmet. Why can we not compare this to surfing?
There are dangers to surfing since we are not in control of waves crashing onto us. The possibility of injuring your head while surfing is high. Hitting coral reefs, sand, rocks, and even your own board can cause severe brain damage. The fin of your board can also cut you when you wipe out, leaving you with a bunch of stitches.
Some may not realize the strength of the ocean and how in the blink of an eye, injury can occur. If surfers, especially beginners, wear helmets, there is a sense of protection and ease. There would be less worry of brain trauma or concussions by the impacts of the sport.
Taking the extra step in putting a helmet on, may save you from a permanent injury.
Professional Australian surfer Owen Wright suffered a serious brain injury back in 2015 from wiping out and getting sucked in by the wave. He had to re-learn many things, one of them being walking. The seriousness of his injury made him realize the importance of helmets. He has started to be extra cautious of wearing a helmet in any circumstance when surfing, which may inspire others to do the same.
The one extra step of wearing a helmet could prevent you from serious injury, possibly saving your life. The impact of wearing a helmet needs more awareness in the community of surfing to decrease the number of concussions.
Young surfers who are just starting out should consider wearing a helmet. It is crucial to help prevent brain injury at such a young age because it could affect you permanently.
The technology of safety in helmets has advanced tremendously within the last decade, especially in American football. Why can’t we put those advancements towards surfing helmets?
We are taking the time to put a lot of technological advancements in helmets for other concussion-prone sports. This validates why surfing helmets should be taken into improvement, not to mention the increase of concussions in surfing.
If we were to take the time to innovate the creation of surfing helmets, specifically for taking the impacts of waves, we could help decrease the number of concussions. This could bring more awareness to the dangers of surfing and how we can be safer when wiping out.
Surfing is a sport that has been on the rise and gaining more attention, but some may not realize the seriousness of injuries that come along with it. The concern of concussions in surfing will only continue to rise if the community does not take serious action. Therefore, there needs to be more talk of the dangers in the injuries that could occur when wiping out.