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  • Author: Tai T. Tran x
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Josh L. Secomb, Sophia Nimphius, Oliver R.L. Farley, Lina Lundgren, Tai T. Tran and Jeremy M. Sheppard

Purpose:

To identify whether there are any significant differences in the lower-body muscle structure and countermovement-jump (CMJ) and squat-jump (SJ) performance between stronger and weaker surfing athletes.

Methods:

Twenty elite male surfers had their lower-body muscle structure assessed with ultrasonography and completed a series of lower-body strength and jump tests including isometric midthigh pull (IMTP), CMJ, and SJ. Athletes were separated into stronger (n = 10) and weaker (n = 10) groups based on IMTP performance.

Results:

Large significant differences were identified between the groups for vastus lateralis (VL) thickness (P = .02, ES = 1.22) and lateral gastrocnemius (LG) pennation angle (P = .01, ES = 1.20), and a large nonsignificant difference was identified in LG thickness (P = .08, ES = 0.89). Furthermore, significant differences were present between the groups for peak force, relative peak force, and jump height in the CMJ and SJ (P < .01−.05, ES = 0.90−1.47) and eccentric peak velocity, as well as vertical displacement of the center of mass during the CMJ (P < .01, ES = 1.40−1.41).

Conclusion:

Stronger surfing athletes in this study had greater VL and LG thickness and LG pennation angle. These muscle structures may explain their better performance in the CMJ and SJ. A unique finding in this study was that the stronger group appeared to better use their strength and muscle structure for braking as they had significantly higher eccentric peak velocity and vertical displacement during the CMJ. This enhanced eccentric phase may have resulted in a greater production and subsequent utilization of stored elastic strain energy that led to the significantly better CMJ performance in the stronger group.

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Jeremy M. Sheppard, Sophia Nimphius, Greg G. Haff, Tai T. Tran, Tania Spiteri, Hedda Brooks, Gary Slater and Robert U. Newton

Purpose:

Appropriate and valid testing protocols for evaluating the physical performances of surfing athletes are not well refined. The purpose of this project was to develop, refine, and evaluate a testing protocol for use with elite surfers, including measures of anthropometry, strength and power, and endurance.

Methods:

After pilot testing and consultation with athletes, coaches, and sport scientists, a specific suite of tests was developed. Forty-four competitive junior surfers (16.2 ± 1.3 y, 166.3 ± 7.3 cm, 57.9 ± 8.5 kg) participated in this study involving a within-day repeated-measures analysis, using an elite junior group of 22 international competitors (EJG), to establish reliability of the measures. To reflect validity of the testing measures, a comparison of performance results was then undertaken between the EJG and an age-matched competitive junior group of 22 nationally competitive surfers (CJG).

Results:

Percent typical error of measurement (%TEM) for primary variables gained from the assessments ranged from 1.1% to 3.0%, with intraclass correlation coefficients ranging from .96 to .99. One-way analysis of variance revealed that the EJG had lower skinfolds (P = .005, d = 0.9) than the CJG, despite no difference in stature (P = .102) or body mass (P = .827). The EJG were faster in 15-m sprint-paddle velocity (P < .001, d = 1.3) and had higher lower-body isometric peak force (P = .04, d = 0.7) and superior endurance-paddling velocity (P = .008, d = 0.9).

Conclusions:

The relatively low %TEM of these tests in this population allows for high sensitivity to detect change. The results of this study suggest that competitively superior junior surfers are leaner and possess superior strength, paddling power, and paddling endurance.

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Lina E. Lundgren, Tai T. Tran, Sophia Nimphius, Ellen Raymond, Josh L. Secomb, Oliver R.L. Farley, Robert U. Newton, Julie R. Steele and Jeremy M. Sheppard

Purpose:

To develop and evaluate a multifactorial model based on landing performance to estimate injury risk for surfing athletes.

Methods:

Five measures were collected from 78 competitive surfing athletes and used to create a model to serve as a screening tool for landing tasks and potential injury risk. In the second part of the study, the model was evaluated using junior surfing athletes (n = 32) with a longitudinal follow-up of their injuries over 26 wk. Two models were compared based on the collected data, and magnitude-based inferences were applied to determine the likelihood of differences between injured and noninjured groups.

Results:

The study resulted in a model based on 5 measures—ankle-dorsiflexion range of motion, isometric midthigh-pull lower-body strength, time to stabilization during a drop-and-stick (DS) landing, relative peak force during a DS landing, and frontal-plane DS-landing video analysis—for male and female professional surfers and male and female junior surfers. Evaluation of the model showed that a scaled probability score was more likely to detect injuries in junior surfing athletes and reported a correlation of r = .66, P = .001, with a model of equal variable importance. The injured (n = 7) surfers had a lower probability score (0.18 ± 0.16) than the noninjured group (n = 25, 0.36 ± 0.15), with 98% likelihood, Cohen d = 1.04.

Conclusions:

The proposed model seems sensitive and easy to implement and interpret. Further research is recommended to show full validity for potential adaptations for other sports.

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Tai T. Tran, Lina Lundgren, Josh Secomb, Oliver R.L. Farley, G. Gregory Haff, Laurent B. Seitz, Robert U. Newton, Sophia Nimphius and Jeremy M. Sheppard

Purpose:

To determine whether a previously validated performance-testing protocol for competitive surfers is able to differentiate between Australian elite junior surfers selected (S) to the national team and those not selected (NS).

Methods:

Thirty-two elite male competitive junior surfers were divided into 2 groups (S = 16, NS = 16). Their age, height, body mass, sum of 7 skinfolds, and lean-body-mass ratio (mean ± SD) were 16.17 ± 1.26 y, 173.40 ± 5.30 cm, 62.35 ± 7.40 kg, 41.74 ± 10.82 mm, 1.54 ± 0.35 for the S athletes and 16.13 ± 1.02 y, 170.56 ± 6.6 cm, 61.46 ± 10.10 kg, 49.25 ± 13.04 mm, 1.31 ± 0.30 for the NS athletes. Power (countermovement jump [CMJ]), strength (isometric midthigh pull), 15-m sprint paddling, and 400-m endurance paddling were measured.

Results:

There were significant (P ≤ .05) differences between the S and NS athletes for relative vertical-jump peak force (P = .01, d = 0.9); CMJ height (P = .01, d = 0.9); time to 5-, 10-, and 15-m sprint paddle; sprint paddle peak velocity (P = .03, d = 0.8; PV); time to 400 m (P = .04, d = 0.7); and endurance paddling velocity (P = .05, d = 0.7).

Conclusions:

All performance variables, particularly CMJ height; time to 5-, 10-, and 15-m sprint paddle; sprint paddle PV; time to 400 m; and endurance paddling velocity, can effectively discriminate between S and NS competitive surfers, and this may be important for athlete profiling and training-program design.

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Tai T. Tran, Lina Lundgren, Josh Secomb, Oliver R.L. Farley, G. Gregory Haff, Robert U. Newton, Sophia Nimphius and Jeremy M. Sheppard

The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a drop-and-stick (DS) test method and to assess dynamic postural control in senior elite (SE), junior elite (JE), and junior development (JD) surfers. Nine SE, 22 JE, and 17 JD competitive surfers participated in a single testing session. The athletes completed 5 drop-and-stick trials barefoot from a predetermined box height (0.5 m). The lowest and highest time-to-stabilization (TTS) trials were discarded, and the average of the remaining trials was used for analysis. The SE group demonstrated excellent single-measures repeatability (ICC = .90) for TTS, whereas the JE and JD demonstrated good single-measures repeatability (ICC .82 and .88, respectively). In regard to relative peak landing force (rPLF), SE demonstrated poor single-measures reliability compared with JE and JD groups. Furthermore, TTS for the SE (0.69 ± 0.13 s) group was significantly (P = .04) lower than the JD (0.85 ± 0.25 s). There were no significant (P = .41) differences in the TTS between SE (0.69 ± 0.13 s) and JE (0.75 ± 0.16 s) groups or between the JE and JD groups (P = .09). rPLF for the SE (2.7 ± 0.4 body mass; BM) group was significantly lower than the JE (3.8 ± 1.3 BM) and JD (4.0 ± 1.1 BM), with no significant (P = .63) difference between the JE and JD groups. A possible benchmark approach for practitioners would be to use TTS and rPLF as a qualitative measure of dynamic postural control using a reference scale to discriminate among groups.