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 ligamnets 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 forse 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.
Skiing refers to any activity undertaken on skis. From alpine skiing in European resorts, to freestyle riding on artificial snow, to dropping out of helicopters into backcountry bowls, this umbrella terms covers them all. It is well known for being a very sociable sports as well as one which can lead to accidents. For a long time, skiing was also seen as an elitist sport, however with the emergence or artificial snow centres, cheaper European travel and a more free-thinking attitude, skiing has become a much more inclusive sport.
Minor injuries, including twists and sprains, are relatively common in alpine and piste skiing and as expected, the more a skier skis, the more likely they are to pick up an injury at some point.
Knee injuries are particularly typical, with many more seasoned skiers than any other group of people suffering from Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries. The ACL is one of four ligaments that help stabilise the knee. In skiing, when the knee is straightened and twisted at the same time, the ACL can be easily injured. If the ligament is badly damaged, it may require surgery. The best way to avoid an ACL injury is through practicing good skiing techniques and not pushing your boundaries too hard.
For many winter sports fans, snowboarding is the much younger, less stylish and more dangerous sibling of the more acceptable sport of skiing; however, as snowboarding turns 40 years old and with its inclusion in the Olympics, more people are choosing to give it a go. In its simplest terms, snowboarding is an alternative winter mountain sport using one board instead of two skis. Riders use the edges of their board in combination with their weight to control their movement, just as skiers do with their skis.
Resort igures show that on any day, twice as many snowboarders report injuries as skiers; however, half of these injuries occur to those in their first two weeks of snowboarding, making the learning process sound like a painful one.
Ski cross is a freestyle form of ski racing. Rather than simply racing down a gated course against the clock as in traditional slalom skiing, ski cross requires skiers to clear a series of manmade and natural jumps, rollers and banked turns.
Ski cross can be a very dangerous sport. In fact, any injury you can think of is possible during ski cross, from minor bruises to broken bones and head injuries or worse. When organisers design and develop ski cross courses, every effort is taken to ensure that the banks, rollers and jumps are in perfect condition and that the landings are stable. Races are often postponed in poor snow conditions or bad visibility, and several layers of fencing is used to keep spectators out of the way of racers who might fall or skis that might come off.
Despite this, many people still want to give ski cross a go, and plenty of resorts are happy to include a ski and boarder cross course either on the piste or in the snow park. However, it is not a good idea to try it in the absence of proper regulation.
Motorcross is a type of off-road racing for motorcycles enjoyed by thousands worldwide. Racers compete on specially designed bikes across closed, off-road dirt tracks in a fight to the finish, with the tracks themselves consisting of all manner of natural and artifical bumps, jumps and obstacles. The sport enjoys a wide level of popularity both in the UK and worldwide, with a number of competitions organised into sub-disciplines and engine capabilities.
Motocross, as with all motor-racing sports, requires a certain level of protective equipment to be worn at all times when competing or training. Due to the nature of the sport, motocross can be inherently dangerous, though the likelihood of suffering different types of injury varies between different disciplines. The most comon injuries, aside from broken collar bones, wrists and ankles, are acromio vacular (shoulder) joint sprains and anterior cruciate ligament (knee) ruptures, which while not life threatening can still be extremely painful and inconvenient. These injuries can be mitigated and protected by specially made braces and supports that mainly fall into two categories: preventatie braces that protect against injury; and rehabilitative ones, which help injuries to heal by restricting excess movement that may cause harm.
Enduro is a dirt motorcycling sport that takes competitors through their paces with a series of descents; therefore, a good set of brakes is a necessity. The compeititons usually take place off-road in challenging terrain, with further obstacles put in place to push the riders to their limits.
Enduro, as with most other dirt biking sports, is undeniably hazardous. Hurtling downhill on uneven and slippery tracks at great speeds can never be risk free, although measures sch as helmets and hardwearing clothing can help to soften the blow of an impact. Despite the high chance of injury, rates are reasonably low and most injuries sustained tend to be relatively minor.
Freestyle Motocross or FMX is an exciting and visually impressive variation of motocross, a form of off-road motorcycle racing. In FMX, the goal is not a simply to win the race but to impress the judges with your overall riding skills. This is done by performing stunts and tricks, including jumps.
The main piece of equipment that an FMX rider has is obviously their motorcycle. In the early days of the sport this would most likely be a modified road motorcycle but now it is likely to be a purpose-made motocross bike. Other than that, the bulk of the equipment they have is geared towards protecting their safety in what in undeniably a potentially dangerous sport.
Supermoto is a demanding and exhilarating track sport that began as a motorbiking hybrid but is now a fully fledged sport in its own right. It combines the courage and control of road racing with the challenge and speed of motorcross all on a single circuit. Riders must prove their mettle on two distinct surfaces, as the average tarmac circuit also has an additional dirt or off-road section.
Fortunately for riders, spectators and enthusiasts alike, with preparation and the appropriate attire the risks can be greatly reduced. Riders commonly wear road-racing leathers or an "armoured" jersey or jacket. Knee braces and shin guards are commonly used to provide support, along with durable boots and an excellent motocross helmet. Helmets should met strict safety standards and should also be replaced as often as necessary. Gloves can protect the hands from injury also.
Quadbiking as a sport covers any form of high adrenalin off-road driving of a four wheeled vehicle with low pressure tyres, namely quads or quad bikes. These vehicles are sometimes referred to as all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), as they are designed to be driven over any kind of ground, no matter how rocky or muddy, root-covered, wet, dry or even icy. Quads are mostly driven by a single rider who sits astride the vehicle sterring it by turning its handlebars.
There is no getting away from the fact that quad biking can be a dangerous sport, resulting in serious injuries and fatalities; nevertheless, riders can protect themselves from many of the more minor common injuries of the sport by wearing suitable protective gear. It is vital to ensure that all equipment conforms to the most recent safety regulations.
In the two centuries since the concept of two-wheeled transport formed the foundation for the development of modern bikes, humanity has fallen in love with and perpetually evolved these pedal-powered machines.
Cycling as a sport is venerable, with the first race thought to have taken place in 1868 at a time when frames were made of wood and the wheels were plain iron with no rubber to cushion them. However while road based competitions have been common for a long time, it is only since the 1970s that BMX and mountain biking have emerged, first as leisure activities and eventually as world-renowned competitive events.
For BMX and mountain biking, the list of injuries that are most common can be fairly consistent across both sports. Every rider can expect to encounter cuts, grazes and bruises, whether caused by a fall from the bike, the wear and tear of long stints in the saddle, or a slip-up that results in an impact from the pedals or the frame.
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