World Conference

Surfing Medicine


5-8 April

Valdoviño, Spain








About WCSM 2023


Surfing Medicine International brings an unique event: The World Conference on Surfing Medicine returns to the northern hemisphere, Valdoviño, Galicia, Spain. In the Surfing paradise of South-West Europe, we will offer a three-day program of inspiring lectures, workshops and outdoor activities, featuring leading specialists and inspirational speakers in surfers’ health, injury prevention, drowning prevention, surfers as bystander rescuers, training, performance and ocean environment.

Now entering its ninth edition, the #WCSM2023 is a state-of-the-art conference delivering premium academic content in an engaging and interactive format, providing a scientific, evidence-based, platform for key stakeholders in modern surfing sports making it the platform for sharing and learning with medical professionals, surfing industry & athletes, students, coaches & strength condition trainers, sport & environmental scientists, water safety experts and lifeguards.

Each daily program at WCSM 2023 will be dedicated to a theme reflecting the needs of the modern day surfer:

Program overview

5th April   Pre Conference Workshops

                       Registration and Opening Event 

6th April Day 1: Acute Injuries; Rescue, Resuscitation & Trauma 

7th April Day 2: Injury Prevention & Performance

8th April Day 3: The Impact Zone; Leadership, education & impact


Valdoviño, Galicia, Spain

The rugged coastline of Galicia offers the perfect dramatic backdrop for the WCSM. Spectacular cliffs, lush valleys and wild beaches that offer more than enough nooks and crannies to score perfect surf. Tired from scoring perfect waves in crystal clear water, you can replenish in one of the lovely villages and chow down on the amazing food.

Many stoked surfing health professionals reside in this area and will share their knowledge with fellow stoked health professionals at the conference.


 Pre Courses

5 April 2023


Precourse Drowning Resuscitation

This precourse is aimed at physicians and paramedical professionals. During interactive sessions you will get an update on priorities on the latest evidence on drowning and train your practical skills in scenario’s on the beach designed to implement this. Topics that will be covered are rescue, resuscitation of non-fatal drowning and hypothermic patient, cpr, point-of-care ultrasound, ecmo, communication & leadership, transport and decision making. The instructors are globally leading experts on drowning rescuscitation, working daily as emergency medicine specialists and are looking forward to immerse you in this exciting topic!

Bring your wetsuit, booties and a towel to this precourse for the beach training & scenario’s!

Limited availability

Precourse Physiotherapy and Orthopedic Consultation in Surfers

This precourse is aimed at medical specialists and physiotherapist that work with surfers (sports medicine, orthopedic surgeons, physiotherapy and manual therapy). During this precourse you will get specific in-depth knowledge on how to diagnose, treat, train and approach surfers by the latest evidence and training programs. The precourse will be a blend of lectures, interaction and hand ons teaching including the basics on ultrasound scanning of the surfers shoulder. Join this precourse to meet our international network of specialists and learn with them! For more information on surf injury prevention in surfers check out SMI’s Injury Prevention Program here

Limited availability

Day 1

6 April 2023


Acute Surf Injuries; Rescue, Resuscitation & Trauma

During Day 1 you will get an update on the history, the current best practices and the future of rescue, resuscitation & trauma related to surfing. Experienced clinicians and lifeguard instructors will deliver the content in interactive lectures and hands on workshops to optimise learning you the skills you need in the surf and in your profession!

Delivery: lectures/workshops/interaction


Surf Rescue & bystander rescue

Drowning Resuscitation

Airway Management & CPR in the aquatic environment

The future of rescue & resuscitation

Workshops in surf rescue, cpr & airway management, crew resource management, performing under pressure, creating teams & team flow.

Day 2

7 April 2023


Surf Training & Performance. Get ready for the ride of your life!

During the second day we will get your body and mind ready to train and perform. Our global leading network of professionals will update you on the latest insights in research on surf training theory, training en injury prevention which you can directly implement in your routine or practice. How do you keep yourself fit to perform? What is the ideal prevention program? How do you instruct your surfing patient or yourself to rehabilate? Join us and get ready for the ride of your life!

Delivery: Lecture/workshops/ interaction


Training elite and amateur surf athletes

Surfers shoulder diagnosis, treatment & prevention

Spinal pathologies in surfing & their prevention

Surf physiotherapy

Orthopedic surgery in surfers; considerations and techniques


Day 3

8 April 2023


The Impact Zone

Leadership, education & impact

On the final day of the conference we will dive into inspiring stories, evidence based leadership & education and practical tips on how to improve your game. How can you succesfully compose a team? How do you globally train surfers as bystander rescuers? How do you keep yourself fit to perform in the surf and in your work? From international collaboration during highly complex surgery, setting up post docs in surfing medicine to online possibilities in e-health, education and collaboration. Global leaders in their field will inspire you and make you interact with us to learn together how we can lead by example while staying not only healthy but also stoked. Get ready to duckdive into your personal impact zone!

Delivery: Lectures/workshops/interaction


Global collaboration & female leadership

SMI’s Surf Injury Prevention Program implementation (GetSetApp IOC/Skadefri/SMI)

How to set up a curriculum in surfing medicine at your university

Training surfers as bystander rescuers

Personal & Team Flow

Crew Resource Management

Communication & Negotiation

Fit to perform


Prof. Vibeke Hjortdal

Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Denmark.

Jennifer Straatman, MD

Portsmouth United Kingdom

General Surgical Specialist, Upper GI subspecialist

Expertise wound care in surfing environment 

Dion van de Schoot, MD

Waikato, New Zealand

Emergency Medicine Specialist, FACEM, POCUS Fellow 

Expertise Acute Surfing Injuries, Drowning Resuscitation 

Professor Roberto Barcala -Furelos

Vigo, Spain

Phd sport sciences and nursing 

Expertise bystander rescue, drowning prevention 

Pedro Reimunde, MD

La Coruna, Spain 

Neurosurgical Specialist

Expertise Surfing Spine / Head injury management 

Sebastiaan Heitkamp

Den Hague The Netherlands


Specific Expertise Surfer’s Shoulder, Point of Care ultrasound 

Pedro Seixas

Lisbon, Portugal


Miguel Moreira 

Lisbon, Portugal 

Sport Scientist 

Specific expertise in field of Surf Science, Coaching & Performance

Joel de Oliveira

Porto, Portugal

Sports Science Teacher

PhD in Aquatic Safety (Surfing)

Expertise in Drowning Prevention, Surfers as Bystander Rescuers

Ingvar Berg, MD

Den Hague, The Netherlands 

Emergency Medicine Specialist 

Expertise Drowning Resuscitation, Acute Surfing Injuries 

Ognjen Markovic

Vienna, Austria 

Ophthalmologist specialist 

Expertise Surfer’s Eye & Vision 

Annemiek Coester 

Breda, The Netherlands

Vascular Surgical Specialist, Transplantation Fellow 

Expertise female leadership / team management 

Call for abstract

SMI would like to invite all participants to send their abstracts for short presentations to us at We challenge you to present your research or case report on Surfing Medicine and to win a fantastic prize for the best academic contribution to Surfing Medicine!

This year our science team will select the best and most innovative research and invite them to take centre stage on the podium to share their work with the conference! So get your abstracts in to be in for the chance. The deadline for submissions is 31-01-2022. Find the abstrac submission details below:

Submission of Abstracts WCSM23

SMI calls for research abstracts to be submitted for consideration as short presentation (10 minutes) or as a poster-presentations at the upcoming WCSM2023.
We are in a continuous search for evidence-based medicine in the area of Surfing
Medicine. Our association encourages projects/studies that introduce new insights and results into this field. Authors are encouraged to submit scientific abstracts in the field of surfing medicine in the broadest sense. Should your abstract be accepted, you will be invited to either present your findings in a 10 minute presentation, or present your poster at the conference and share your knowledge.

Deadline for abstract submission: 31-01-2023

Abstract submission details

How to submit an abstract: Please provide a word document with the following information.

1) Clearly state at the top of your abstract whether you want to be considered for;
a) An oral presentation (10 minutes)
b) A poster presentation
c) Both.
2) Title: a concise title that captures the essence of the project
3) Authors and affiliations

4) Main Abstract

a) The abstract should follow the format:
• Introduction: Outlining the question, review the problem, purpose of the study
• Methods: Research design; setting; patients enrolled and selection procedure/inclusion-
/exclusion criteria; specific methods of data collection, description of the intervention, outcome
variables and explanation how these variables are measured, explanation of (statistical)
analysis, statistical methods
• Results: Report of the findings of the study based upon the methodology,
• Discussion: state major findings, explanation of results, references to previous research, study
limitations, suggestions further research perspectives,
• Conclusion
b) The abstract may not exceed over 400 words (excluding title, authors and affilitations)

We look forward to receiving your work and sharing the knowledge at the World Conference in Galicia!


We aim to host an inclusive event by providing scholarships for the World Conference on Surfing Medicine. Our team is committed to making the event accessible for participants from resource-limited regions, to provide a truly global platform and presentation of the community.

The Scholarship Programme is accessible to everyone who is a medical student or professional origin from a non-High-Income Country, with a passion for Surfing and Medicine.

The Scholarship provides a waive of conference fees to help people who would otherwise be unable to attend the event.

Selection is depending on the following criteria:

Origin from Non-High Income Country as per World Bank Classification
Candidates who can provide evidence of activity in relevant sciences/community projects
Candidates which can transfer skills and knowledge acquired at the conference to the local community/academia
A non-biased review committee will score and review the scholarship applications.

To apply for a scholarship send us an application to including:
Cover Letter / Motivation including your proposal/involvement in the event

How to get to Valdovino

The World Conference on Surfing Medicine 2023 will be hosted in Valdoviño, a rugged coastal village in Galicia, Spain. Beautiful beaches, lined by cliffs, make the perfect backdrop to learn more about surfing medicine, connect with likeminded people, and surf! The Casa de Cultura includes a Oceano Surf Museo (surf museum) telling the tale of surf history in the north of Spain and beyond.

Location: Casa de Cultura, Valdoviño

But how to get there?

One of the goals of SMI is keeping surfer’s healthy and safe. Hosting a conference, a live conference, of course comes with a footprint. Therefore, we do support our participants looking into sustainable ways of travel. Here you’ll find a lot of possibilities to come and celebrate with us, pick what it right for you!



There is no train station in Valdoviño. Best is to take the train to Ferrol, and get on a bus there to Valdoviño. It is probably cheapest to but train tickets via the Spanish train service, which you can find at


In Spain there are many coach companies that will take you from city to city. These are also great to use if you fly in to another major airport and don’t want to do add a second flight. There are several websites offering tickets for buses.


The closest airport near Valdoviño is located in A Coruña. From A Coruña there are several ways to get to the conference

  • A car ride takes 45 minutes. (There are many car rental companies at the airport)
  • Or take a local bus (see below for transport companies)

Another option is to fly into Santiago de Compostella and arrange transport from there.

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