How to get back in the surf after an injury

Get back in the surf after injury

It’s typical isn’t it? You’re really in the groove with your surfing, scoring some great waves and seeing real progression. But then on a flat day, you fall off your skateboard and break your ankle which means no surfing for a few months…

Whilst it totally sucks, sulking, ignoring the issue and feeling sorry for yourself isn’t going to help. So be patient, follow our guide to recovery and you’ll be shredding again in no time!

Listen to your physio/doctor

There’s no point being given advice from the experts if you’re not prepared to follow it. You’ll slow down the recovery process and at worse, potentially do even more damage.

If you’re told to rest, do it. If you’re given exercises, do them and stick to them. It could make the difference between a speedy recovery and a more prolonged period away from the surf.

Stay positive

There’s nothing worse than seeing your mates shredding and telling tales of sick waves. But moaning about your temporary fate isn’t going to help.

Remember, it’s not forever so stay positive. It will help with the recovery process as you’re more likely to do everything you can to follow the advice you’ve been given. Look ahead and start planning a surf trip, use the down time to start a new hobby, reflect and enjoy being waited on!

Stay fit and flexible (within reason)

Depending on the nature of your injury, you should be able to train other areas of your body so you’re ready to hit the surf when you’re given the all clear. Always take advice from your doctor/physiotherapist but try to stay as fit and flexible as you can. It will also help with that positive mindset!

Eat right

It’s tempting to eat your body weight’s worth of chocolate out of despair. Whilst it may give you a temporary sugar high, it won’t help to repair the damage. Think calcium packed foods to help heal broken bones faster, Vitamin C for tendon and ligament damage, and foods rich in Omega-3 to reduce inflammation and swelling.

Take up a new hobby/stay productive

Use your recovery time to get creative – start a blog, draw or take up photography. Alternatively, read that book you never got round to or list those items on eBay. Keep your mind active and it will help you stay focused on recovery!

Brush up on your surf knowledge

If you’re not too hot on the theory side of surfing, use your time to learn more about surf forecasting and different surf breaks. You could also watch some technique videos on an area you want to improve on when you do get back in.

Watching surf movies and reading surf books may give you some different perspectives and help inspire you. Pro’s like Mick Fanning and Laird Hamilton have suffered their share of injuries, and their books will give you an insight into how they handled the healing process.

Be patient and realistic

Don’t rush your recovery. Listen to your body and do what’s right for it. Above all, be realistic when you do get back in the surf. After a prolonged period away, you may find that your progress and fitness has slipped back a bit but don’t be disheartened. Take it easy and make sure you build up slowly and surely.

Before you know it, that injury that will be a distant memory!


Image credit: Pixabay

Write a comment


  1. Kirsty Hill
    March 9, 2017

    Stoked you like it Paul!

  2. Milo
    February 21, 2017

    Some good advice….read, and inwardly digest….

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