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Old     (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       08-18-2010, 1:54 PM Reply   
When I was heavy into wakeboarding back in '93-98 I didn't really think about injury at all. Just got out there and had fun without any hesitation to try any trick. The wakes weren't as big and the skylons and towers were just coming into the picture so I rarely got a pull behind a boat with one.

In 1999 I hadn't really wakeboarded at all then got out for one outing in the summer and messed up my knee on a half hearted toeside 360. I ended up breaking off a quarter sized chip from the back of my kneecap as well as straining everything in my knee. It was pretty painful and then once the swelling was gone I had to have it scoped to remove "loose bodies". I immediately felt 90% better when they removed that big chunk.

Haven't done much in the past 10 years accept for the occasional, casual outing once or twice a year. Bought a boat for myself this year and have started getting serious about boarding again at 30 years old. I'm a lot more cautious about things now both because of my previous injury and my age. Trying to get back into inverts and spins but for the most part I've just been working on my toe side air and riding fakie.

Anyway, I'm really paranoid about knee injury, especially my ACL and MCLs now even though I've never injured those. Mentally, physically and financially I just can't take a major injury like that. I plan on getting into some routine for plyometrics (jump training) to strengthen everything down there, especially during the off season.

Also, I'm 6'1" and it seems like it's the taller guys that go really big that end up injuring their ligaments. Every tall guy I know who goes big has had ACL surgery. The shorter guys that I know, even those who go big, don't seem to have the same frequency of knee injury. Probably due to the extra leverage their limbs offer against their ligaments.

Any other ideas or comments on how to minimize the chances of this type of injury?
Old     (wake77)      Join Date: Jan 2009       08-18-2010, 2:06 PM Reply   
I think you can decrease your chances (working out, learning good board control, etc.), but there are instances where something freakish happens. Look at football players, most are in excellent physical shape, and all it takes is one play and their season is lost. I broke my ankle three summers ago, on a HS W2W 180 (a trick that I had landed and wrecked on plenty of times prior), that required surgery and a couple of months of rehab. Make sure you stretch before you ride, I feel that this is very important. Maybe some supplemental insurance for the financial aspect.
Old     (WakeBait)      Join Date: Aug 2010       08-18-2010, 3:49 PM Reply   
Like Jeremy said, It only takes that ONE bad wreck to do you in, Don't mean it is gonna happen, but there is always that what if.... Like he said, a good starter is getting yourself into good physical shape.. Calesthenics works great... Stretching will also help a good deal..
Good Luck

Old     (aliwake)      Join Date: Dec 2006       08-18-2010, 4:32 PM Reply   
my surgeon reccommended the PEP program, which is the only scientifically formulated ACL injury prevention program - the only catch is that it was developed for female soccer players, and it's a pretty serious warm-up, that I don't think translates well to wakeboarding. spending 45 mins running around a field before hopping in the boat, and then maybe waiting an hour or so for your ride and getting cool in the meantime, isn't a great scenario.
This is it:
However, I believe you can take elements of it and make it work for you.
I think the key elements are warm-up, stretching, plyometrics and agility. Strength can be done at other times (ie not just before you go riding). I'd be interested to hear from some wakeboarding physios on this...
Old     (ian_ashton)      Join Date: Jul 2008       08-19-2010, 7:21 AM Reply   
With my injury (ACL, PCL, MCL) it was just the perfect situation to destroy my knee; no real way to prevent it. I ride (rode?) almost every day, never once with an injury, always stretch and warm up. Sometimes things just happen, and it sucks. As I get ready to walk out the door for Physical Therapy.
Old     (rernst22)      Join Date: Oct 2006       08-26-2010, 12:52 PM Reply   
Jeremy - you are 100% correct. There are ways that you can minimize the risk (working out, warming-up, etc), but freak injuries do occur.

Jeff - A LOT of ACL injuries occur during the deceleration phase of a movement (basketball player landing after getting a rebound, soccer player planting their foot in order to cut and change directions, etc.) Those are movements that they have probably done a thousand times before...and it just happens.

This often occurs because there is weakness in the posterior chain and/or the quads are overdeveloped. (Usually the hamstrings, as is the case with a lot of females.)

Take a look at your local gym. When you actually do see people training their lower body (not very often), they are doing squats. Squats are a great exercise but they are a knee dominant exercise.

In order to balance out the squats you need to do a hip dominant exercise such as Romanian Deadlifts (aka straight leg deadlift), stability ball leg curls (don't do them on a machine...), and stability ball back extensions.

Here a couple of examples of hip dominant exercises...

Stability Ball Leg Curl

Stability Ball Back Extensions

If you need some more ideas for more hip dominant exercises, be sure to let me know.
Old     (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       08-26-2010, 1:30 PM Reply   
The only way to truly prevent that type of injury is to not ride. All you can really do is try to strengthen the muscles around your knees and stretch/warm up before riding. Like has been said before: it only takes one wrong landing. If that's what you're thinking about then it'll probably happen. I've had sets where I just couldn't take getting hurt out of my head (usually when I'm feeling a bit off). The best thing you can do is get back in the boat. As for not being able to afford an injury, I think we're almost all there with you. We've got houses, cars, boats to pay for. Jobs to do. The best thing you can do for peace of mind is get yourself in a comfortable place financially that if you need to take some time off for an injury you can (what that means will be different for everyone). Get yourself some good insurance if you don't already have it. Having peace of mind is huge when you're riding a lot.

Also.... Ride a lot. The guys that I know that have gotten knee injuries are usually good riders that have taken time off, then tried to jump back on their game. Riding a lot helps with your balance and air awareness. It'll help prevent those strange landings that wreck knees.


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