In an observational study of male volunteers (mean age 60 +/- 2.3), surfers (n=11) and age-matched controls (n=11), the effects of long-term surfing on neuromuscular function was tested. Subjects participated in recreational surfing on a weekly basis for the past 20 years, and currently surfed at least twice per week.

The physiological variables measured included maximal isometric voluntary contraction force (MVC), rate of force development, steadiness in muscle force production (knee extensors and flexors, and ankle dorsi- and plantarflexors) at 5%, 15% and 25% of MVC levels, joint position sense, and body sway in standing position under four different conditions: eyes open or closed and on a hard or soft surface.

The results indicated that older surfers had significantly lower muscle force fluctuations than the control subjects in the steadiness tests. The surfers also showed less postural sway in the standing position with eyes closed and on soft surface. The findings from this preliminary investigation suggest that long-term recreational surfing may cause specific adaptations that benefit participants by maintaining or improving their neuromuscular function, which would ultimately lead to improved quality of life.

So therefore be like Dude Sr. on our edit of Greg Noll’s handbill of his 1957 surf movie called “The Search for Surf” and start surfing. Just remember NOT to quit!

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