Low back pain is a commonly reported problem among recreational surfers. Some individuals report that wearing a vest with an inflatable bladder that alters trunk angle may help to alleviate pain. The purpose of this study was to determine whether such a vest has an effect on muscle activation and extension of the lower back. Twelve recreational surfers completed 12 paddling trials at 1.1 m/s in a swim flume on both a shortboard and a longboard on 2 separate days. Three conditions of no vest, vest uninflated, and vest inflated were presented to participants in random order. Surface EMG and trunk angle were acquired via wireless sensors placed over the right erector spinae, mid-trapezius, upper trapezius, and latissimus dorsi. Wearing the inflated vest affected muscle activation: erector spinae and mid-trapezius demonstrated a significant decrease in activation relative to wearing no vest (12% and 18% respectively, p < .05). Trunk extension was also significantly reduced when the vest was inflated (18% reduction, p < .05). Results were similar for both the short and longboard, though this effect was greater while paddling the larger board. These results suggest that a properly inflated vest can alter trunk extension and muscle activity while paddling a surfboard in water.
Jeff A. Nessler, Thomas Hastings, Kevin Greer and Sean C. Newcomer
Christine L. LaLanne, Michael S. Cannady, Joseph F. Moon, Danica L. Taylor, Jeff A. Nessler, George H. Crocker and Sean C. Newcomer
Participation in surfing has evolved to include all age groups. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine whether activity levels and cardiovascular responses to surfing change with age. Surfing time and heart rate (HR) were measured for the total surfing session and within each activity of surfing (paddling, sitting, wave riding, and miscellaneous). Peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) was also measured during laboratory-based simulated surfboard paddling on a modified swim bench ergometer. VO2peak decreased with age during simulated paddling (r = –.455, p < .001, n = 68). Total time surfing (p = .837) and time spent within each activity of surfing did not differ with age (n = 160). Mean HR during surfing significantly decreased with age (r = –.231, p = .004). However, surfing HR expressed as a percent of age-predicted maximum increased significantly with age. Therefore, recreational surfers across the age spectrum are achieving intensities and durations that are consistent with guidelines for cardiovascular health.