Skip to main content



Surfing is perhaps the largest water sport worldwide. Revenues top $22 billion, and active surfers are estimated to number over 30 million, according to the website Surfer Today.

Surfing equipment and technique have come a long way from the sport portrayed in 1960s "beach party" movies. There are longboards, shortboards, bodyboarding, big wave surfing, stand-up paddling, foil boarding, and even e-foiling (modified surfboards mounted on hydrofoils).

With that many surfers in a dangerous and evolving sport, injuries are common. Laird Hamilton, a legendary big-wave surfer, told APTA's Move Forward Radio podcast, "I've been hurt more times than I can count. At one point, I'd had a thousand stitches and not had an operation. Our sport involves a lot of wounds. I've had an array of injuries — punctures, broken shoulders, broken ribs, scrapes. You name it and I've had some version of it."

Log in or create a free account to keep reading.

Join APTA to get unlimited access to content.

You Might Also Like...


Toward a More Diverse Profession: 'Flash Action' Advocacy Coming Oct. 20-21

Oct 15, 2021

The 2021 APTA Flash Action Strategy begins with a virtual event, followed by a two-day effort to support a proposed federal grants program.


Historic Physical Therapy Leader Geneva Johnson Dies

Oct 15, 2021

A founder of the nation's first graduate program in physical therapy, Johnson's influence is still being felt throughout the profession.


Social Studies: PTs' Tips on Using Social Media To Amplify the Profession

Oct 15, 2021

Sharing the benefits of physical therapy on social media.