Surfing, Injuries in
James Patrick Macdonald
Surfboard riding (surfing) is a sport practiced in coastal areas around the world. For the purposes of this entry, surfing will describe the sport whereby the participant engages waves in the water while standing on a surfboard. This is in contradistinction to many other wave and board sports, ranging from bodysurfing to boogie boarding to kite boarding and other activities. Surfing is a sport that is practiced in increasing numbers: It is estimated that 1.7 million people in the United States and more than 18 million people worldwide participate in this sport. The sport began centuries ago in the South Pacific. Westerners first encountered surfing in the 18th century when exploring the Pacific islands. In Hawaii, for instance, it was considered the sport of the royalty. It is reported that missionaries actively suppressed the practice in the European settlements, and the sport continued to decline until the 20th century. The ...