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A reminder that surfing can still be dangerous

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  • A reminder that surfing can still be dangerous

    I thought i might write this because of what happened to us this past weekend. Thankfully no one was seriously injured to the point that there are serious complications, however it definitely served as a reminder that even wakesurfing can still be dangerous. I think it's easy given how slow we're usually always going and how the falls are much easier on the joints and bones than say a wakeboard crash or a slalom crash that we can sometimes forget that accidents still happen.

    We were out surfing saturday night and my girlfriend who's never surfed before (avid snowboarder and learning to wakeboard this year) decided to try it and to no ones surprise she got right up her very first try ever! it was awesome and definitely a really exciting moment for not only her but us in the boat too. She was still holding on to the rope and soon came a couple of small rollers. They were enough that she fell. When we went on our way back to pick her up she was a little unresponsive but still coherent enough to say that she was done. We thought she had taken a big thing of water to the face. She complained that her head hurt really really bad and as i was helping her onto the platform thats when i noticed that there was some blood in her hair. We obviously decided to end it right there and headed back to the house. Once we got back, it was clear that this was a little more than just a small cut. it was about 1.5in long and probably a couple mm deep in one spot! definitely a nice gash Her friend who is a nurse thankfully was there and was able to clean it up and after inspection we decided that a trip to the urgent care was most likely needed. She ended up needing 7 staples in her head! we are thinking that she must have tumbled around enough and most likely hit the fin

    Thankfully she was not seriously injured beyond what happened but it definitely served as a reminder that even surfing can still be dangerous. I always see people surfing without life jackets and to be honest i think its stupid. while accidents may not always be as prevalent as in other sports, imagine if she had no life jacket and was rendered unconscious. things can happen in a second.

    i have a picture that i am more than happy to share of her head however, i did not want to post it right away as i know that everyone tolerates things differently. It is not gory, however, still out of respect. if enough people ask on here to share it i will for sure.

  • #2
    A great reminder to wear that life jacket.

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    • #3
      We had a friend fracture her eye socket when the board hit her. It was in February in Oklahoma. Her husband had to convince the doctor and the police that he didn’t hit her. Telling a doctor in Oklahoma that you got hit by a surf board didn’t go well. Luckily he had some photos from the day. She made a full recovery.
      2016 X30

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      • #4
        Never without a life jacket on my boat. That board that is not attached to your feet can go anywhere during a fall or slip.

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        • #5
          April spring break trip messing around kneeboarding my wakesurf board to show the kids it could be done. Dug the nose in and my arm went through the triangle of the rope handle and the boat slack pulled it back off my arm. Tore my tricep from armpit to elbow. Got away lucky without surgery but my forearm is numb still and there’s possibly nerve damage.

          Been doing this my whole life and always tell people to not pull and hold the rope slack. Just goes to show it can still happen!

          glad to hear your girlfriend is ok.

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          • #6
            Glad to hear everyone is OK from their injuries, some of these stories are pretty intense!

            Last season I encouraged my sister-in-law to try surfing and she gave it a valiant effort only to twist her knee on one of her tries... she can't even downhill ski now due to this.

            On my final session of the season last year, I did the ol' pearl dive, only to hit the water wrong and busted my collarbone. Still hasn't healed right and will probably need surgery after this season is out.

            Funny. because I've had way worse wipeouts skiing & wakeboarding but luckily have come away with only a couple of black eyes.

            And I used to describe the sport to everyone as being "very low impact!"

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            • #7
              One helpful tip, a Cancun surf instructor was adamant about coming up after a fall with your arms extended overhead. Apparently. it gives you. a better chance of defending yourself against a rogue board should one be headed your way.

              I often think about that but have been lucky to only had a board hit me in the face on one occasion.

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              • #8
                Good reminder!
                I've tried surfing only a few times. What scares me, watching others around the lake do it, is the rope. Much of the time there's a lot of slack. What happened to MeyersRL would be my greatest concern. Bonk to the head is not good either, but that's a risk with any of these sports - my bro took a slalom to the temple when we were young that could have been really bad but thankfully was not. This is the only sport where a slack rope is intermittent for periods of time.

                And as noted above, NOBODY goes behind my boat without a vest unless you're footing with flotation in your suit. NOBODY, EVER.

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                • #9
                  We had a young girl get hit with the board as it came back to surface and had some pretty good force with it. She ended up with a concussion.

                  Also.. like others said... we don't allow anyone to surf, ride a tube, etc.. without a life jacket.

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                  • #10
                    Glad everyone from the stories is ok- some of them are gnarly! Like jackpine said, I've always described wake surfing as "low-impact" as well!

                    Thankfully, we've never had anything terrible happen on our boat (knock on wood). I think the worst surf-related thing that's happened to me is falling and then getting a wave to the face. That's not the greatest feeling in the world, though I'm positive having your arm on the verge of being ripped off or a big gash in your head is much, much worse.

                    With that said, I do have a gnarly slalom story that might fit in here. I'm lucky enough to have access to a dedicated slalom lake where I can be found most weekends. About 3 years ago, I was up there on a nice night with no wind and an awesome sunset. The conditions were just about as good as you can get. I was watching my good friend from the shore as she was skiing her usual 34 mph @ 28 off. Coming into ball 5 on one of her last passes, I noticed her ski was wobbling a bit. Coming around the ball, her ski slipped out and she face-planted pretty good. I figured it was a set-ending crash, but didn't quite realize the severity of the situation. Come to find out, she scorpioned and the back of her ski fractured her skull. Luckily the boat driver instantly realized what happened and whipped around. I swam out there and took the boat in while they were on the swim platform. We immediately jumped into the car, called an ambulance, and met it halfway. Luckily this story has a happy ending. She is still skiing today, only now with a helmet! Stay safe everyone!
                    -Tolman
                    '22 XT23 "Big Kahuna"
                    '06 X30 (Sold)

                    "Sometimes my genius, it's almost frightening" -JC

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                    • #11
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                      Also watch out for your loose rope when surfing (or better yet, get one of those very thick braided lines), several years ago I landed on the loose line during a fall and my arm went through a loop, causing the rope to cinch up around my arm as the boat continued forward. I still have a nasty scar and an indent just below my left biceps muscle.
                      Last edited by tmothy07; 05-19-2022, 07:44 PM.
                      Tim
                      2021 Lone Star MasterBash
                      Ohio State Engineering - Go Bucks
                      1998 MC MariStar 225VRS
                      1995 MC ProStar 205
                      ISO MC 205V/XStar/X2/X1

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                      • #12
                        Speaking of ropes injuring people, there are a lot of products available (maybe not for wakesurfing) for slalom skiing that they call a handle guard. it basically closes off the triangle so at minimum, your head will not go through it and get yanked in a fall. Some products make it so your arm will also not fit. There are a lot of threads about this on ball of spray waterski forum where there are some extremely serious situations described, but I don't often see it discussed here. Probably because almost all discussions are about surfing.

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                        • #13
                          it's funny because last summer i gashed my nose open with an over the front ski fall in the course and have definitely put my knees through a lot with wakeboarding but have never been hurt surfing (not yet at least..praying i dont jinx my self!) Right before she went we were telling her how low impact of a sport it was too! we definitely had to take that one back lol.

                          Huckelfin yes i have been looking into getting a handle guard for skiing. masterline makes a few of them as of recently which i will most likely be getting. my biggest fear is exactly that: my head going through.

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                          • #14
                            Braid ropes no handle for surfing
                            Handle guard for the other sports (great idea, going to look for this....)
                            Lifejackets all day every day when behind the boat

                            Safe Captain, Happy Captain, Happy Healthy crew.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Huckelfin View Post
                              Speaking of ropes injuring people, there are a lot of products available (maybe not for wakesurfing) for slalom skiing that they call a handle guard. it basically closes off the triangle so at minimum, your head will not go through it and get yanked in a fall. Some products make it so your arm will also not fit. There are a lot of threads about this on ball of spray waterski forum where there are some extremely serious situations described, but I don't often see it discussed here. Probably because almost all discussions are about surfing.
                              Unfortunately there have been a few slalom related deaths over the years when a skier goes out the front and their head goes thru the handle.

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