Is Wakeboarding Dangerous?
Is Wakeboarding Dangerous?
Wakeboarding comes with its own thrills and excitement. Some people get involved in this sport for fun, and for others, it keeps them fit. At one point, you may ask, “Is wakeboarding dangerous?” Wakeboarding has its risks, and whether you’re a beginner or a pro, it’s vital that you understand it.
Wakeboarding is a sport where a rope or binder is attached to a wakeboard, then a boat or a cable system tows the person on the board across the water. Many countries include wakeboarding as part of their summer games, and sports groups usually organize several wakeboarding competitions.
But How Dangerous is Wakeboarding?
Getting injured during wakeboarding is not uncommon; however, data has shown that some wakeboarding-related accidents can be avoided.
Common Wakeboarding-Related Injuries
Wakeboarders usually have the highest risk of injuries on their head/ neck, arms, legs, and back.
Head and neck injuries – These are among the most common wakeboarding-related injuries. The head and neck are at high risk once you’re on the water. There are other risks, such as sustaining a head blow and ear rupture due to a fall.
Arm Injuries – Can be in the form of arm sprains and strains, dislocations, and contusion. There is also the risk of a bone fracture on the arm.
Back – Your back is at risk when wakeboarding as you may suffer a rib injury, strains, bruises, sprains, and even fracture.
Studies have shown that lacerations are the most common injuries, and then concussions follow after. Wakeboarders can suffer injury regardless of their skill levels; however, the kind of injury sustained varies as the wakeboarder gains more skill and tricks in the sport.
Factors Determining Wakeboarding Risks
There are potential risk factors that can make wakeboarding dangerous such as health/fitness status, level of experience, the skill of the vessel operator, equipment, and environmental factors.
Wakeboarding remains dangerous for physically unfit individuals. You need strength to help maintain posture and stay balanced during wakeboarding.
Level of Experience
Wakeboarders can get injured regardless of their level of experience. However, beginner wakeboarders suffer injury the most during take-off when plunged into the water. Average and professional wakeboarders suffer injury due to falling. Additionally, average wakeboarders sustain more ACL tears than novice wakeboarders.
Wakeboarders must be trained in wakeboarding skills to prevent the risk of sustaining injuries. Beginner wakeboarders who don’t understand basic wakeboarding techniques, such as leaving the rope as they fall, are at the risk of sustaining injuries.
The risk of sustaining injuries from wakeboarding increases with the absence of protective gear like helmets, life jackets, wetsuits, or floating devices.
Wakeboarding in bad water, restricted areas, and bad weather conditions can increase the risk of sustaining injury.
Vessel Operator Skill
Vessel operators that lack skills, experience, training, and knowledge on how the vessel works can put the wakeboarder at risk of sustaining injuries. It’s vital that the boat operator understand the speed and acceleration required for the boat.
How to Prevent Wakeboard-Related Injury
- Use the right equipment and ensure it’s in good working condition.
- Take lessons to gain knowledge about wakeboarding techniques.
- Participate in strength and conditioning exercises such as tandem squats and torso rotation.
- Join a resistance training program.
- Research and gain knowledge on how to manage concussions.
Like every other sport, wakeboarding has its risks. However, it’s vital to determine its risk factors before you partake in this sport. Also, ensure you take the necessary steps to avoid injuries.