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Watersports are a fun, action packed and exhilarating way to spend time in the water. It couples physical exertion and mental stimulation for the perfect past time and not only are they visually stunning to watch but are also motivational and adventurous to take part in whether competitively or recreationally.
Watersports come in many different forms and as such carry different risks to the rider and their knees.
Surfing is a hugely popular surface-water sport in which athletes ride the deep face of a moving wave using a specialised board, generally moving in the direction of the shore. Whilst the UK isn't the most well-known for its surfing destinations, there are several beaches available, such as Newquay and Croyde, around the coasts in which the sport is popular and practised. Bournemouth in the South of England boasts Europe's first artificial Surf Reef, where they offer surfing lessons and advice for beginners.
As with any sport, there are several risks and dangers attached to the art of surfing. Should the conditions prove too rough for surfers, they may fall off or be knocked from their board by a wave. This is commonly referred to as a wipeout. Whilst this is generally not a concern, given the water will break their fall, there are still obstacles on the surface and underneath the water which can cause collisions.
Whilst there are a few ways to really avoid collisions, there is further specialist equipment which can be worn and utilised, such as braces to prevent ligaments and muscles from strain and tearing.
Over the past decade, kitesurfing has evolved from a recreational activity to a full-blown competitive sport. A cross between wakeboarding, surfing and paragliding, it involved riding the waters on a specially adapted surfboard, propelled by a kite.
As with any sport, with the right equipment and training, and with all precautions taken, kitesurfing and kiteboarding can be enjoyed safely, but it is still high risk activity, and participants have sustained serious injuries. In kiteboarding and kitesurfing, 45% of injuries involve the knees, ankles and feet and occur most commonly when the rider is thrown from the board or the board twists under the rider, either by the force of the landing or through the impact of a wave.
Prevention of injury is paramount and can be achieved with adequate training, rehab and protective gear.
Wakeboarding involves riding a board similar to a surfboard, but shorter, behind a motorboat. The speed boat tows the wakeboarder, providing speed and creating a wake which is used to perform acrobatic manoeuvres over the surface of the water. Developed from techniques used in surfing, snowboarding and water skiing, wakeboarding is a dynamic sport enjoyed on lakes, seas and rivers the world over.
Wakeboarding carries inherent risks associated with falling on water at high speeds. This can be surprisingly painful and damaging. There are also common injuries associated with high impact sports and the fixation of your feet into binding. Safety measures can be put in place to reduce the risk of injury pr lessen their effects, not to mention avoiding accidents altogether.
To prevent wakeboard injuries, wear correct safety equipment, use prevention supports such as ligament braces, learn from a professional teacher, always check the towline is untangled and get as fit as possible to strengthen your body appropriately.
Wakeskating is an adaptation of the water sport wakeboarding. Like wakeboarding, it involves being towed behind a motorboat, Jet Ski, winch or cable system on an adapted form of surfboard. Where it differs from wakeboarding is in its lack of feet binding, giving the rider free movement of his feet. This bring about its own challenges, giving its unique style and techniques. It is very similar to skate boarding but requires a ow for speed and is performed on water.
A number of common injuries are associated with these high-impact sports. Safety measures should be put in place in order to reduce the risk of injury or lessen the effect or to even avoid certain accidents altogether.
To prevent wakeskating injuries you should always wear the correct safety equipment such as a life vest and helmet, consider wearing injury prevention supports such as knee immobilisers and ligament braces, check the towline is note tangled and exercise regularly to keep fit and strong.