Get wet and wild, but keep it safe
Water Sports Injury Prevention
- Bow bumpers or rounded front ends may prevent head and eye impact injuries.
- Use caution in the shore break (small but powerful waves close to shore).
- Chronic low back and shoulder pain are common. Cross training, flexibility and core strength help with these problems.
- A leash can prevent your board from hitting others should you fall.
- Lessons with a “certified” instructor are encouraged.
- Newer equipment is safer and worth the expense.
- Watch for approaching storms and gusty winds.
- Bystander safety is critical. Keep a safe distance between you and beachgoers.
Wakeboarding and Waterskiing
- Know the location of sand bars and oyster beds.
- Participants should use an approved life vest.
- Head injuries, including concussions and lacerations are common. Using a helmet is encouraged, in particular with advanced maneuvers.
- A spotter in the boat allows the driver to focus on one thing: driving the boat.
- Proper lifting techniques when transporting the boat help avoid back strains.
- With the low back in mind it is also important to stretch your hamstrings and maintain good paddling posture. Utilize core muscles to prevent shoulder and elbow overuse.
- Wear protective shoes if you are near any oysters and a visible hat or life vest so boaters easily see you.
Important for All Water Activities
- Wearing sunscreen prevents excessive sun exposure. Some rash guards have built in SPF qualities and help prevent jellyfish stings as well.
- Oyster cuts can be surprisingly deep and should be checked by a physician.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Knowing the tides and weather is important for all water sports.
- Always let someone know your plans on the water or have a friend join you in the fun.