Wakeboarding, Surfing & Waterskiing

Wakeboarding is a popular and growing sport, so much so that it may even make its way into the 2020 summer Olympic games. While the flips, spins, inverts and other awe-inspiring stunts of the sport are thrilling, the high-energy nature of wakeboarding paired with the board’s wide surface area and fixed bindings leaves one at risk of a number of wakeboarding injuries.

Most Common Wakeboarding Injury

The most common wakeboarding injury is a laceration to the head, accounting for around 25% of all injuries from the sport.

Next up are concussions, accounting for around one in nine of these water sports accidents. With wakeboarding, one is at higher risk of “catching an edge,” with the result being the slamming of a person into the water, with the head bearing the brunt of the impact.

Upper Body Wakeboard Injury

If one is lucky enough to escape a concussion from slamming the head against the water during a wipeout, one may still sustain a strain to the tissues of the neck that causes pain and stiffness. In more severe cases, one may want to consider using a neck collar for a period for extra support and to allow healing to occur.

New tricks, frequent falls and simply the stress placed on the low-back from being pulled behind a boat can also cause back pain. One may simply need to take a break from wakeboarding so that healing can occur. In some cases this might include the use of a lumbar back brace to lessen stress on the tissues of the spine.

Shoulder dislocations are another possible upper body injury with wakeboarding, accounting for an estimated 5% of accidents associated with such sports. After the shoulder has been put back in place by a medical professional, one may need the extra support of an athletic shoulder compression brace.

Wakeboarding Knee Injury and Other Lower-extremity problems

Ankle sprains are also a fairly common wakeboard injury, as a wipeout or bad landing can twist the joint out of its normal range of motion. For that reason, BraceAbility offers a neoprene, water resistant ankle wrap for support after an injury or for use as a preventive measure. The wakeboarding ankle brace can be used on land, as well.

Unfortunately, the rise in popularity of this sport has also coincided with an increase in associated ACL tears, which is not overly surprising given the higher-risk nature of the sport. Landing a jump poorly or rotation that occurs when one catches the edge of the board on water can both partially or fully tear this important stabilizing ligament of the knee.

Surgery is required to repair ACL tears. As one returns to activity, one may benefit from a functional knee support that is designed for various ligament instabilities. This wakeboarding knee brace stands out in that it is one of the few such products constructed of non-corrosive materials that are suitable for water sports.

For less serious injuries such as a strain or sprain of the groin or knee, one may simply consider wearing a neoprene knee brace or groin wrap for wakeboarding. Such lightweight, flexible products apply light support and compression without interfering with one’s performance. Plus neoprene will not retain water.