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Evaluating aerial landings in surfing: implications for performance and training (PhD Academy Award)
  1. James Robert Forsyth
  1. Biomechanics Research Laboratory, Faculty of Science, Medicine & Health, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr James Robert Forsyth, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia; jforsyth{at}

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For my thesis, I systematically evaluated how highly skilled surfers performed aerial manoeuvres, to develop evidence-based recommendations which may improve how surfers train for and perform aerials.

Why did I do it?

In surfing, aerial manoeuvres have become popular because they are associated with higher scores during surfing competitions.1 Although aerials can provide surfers with a competitive advantage, they are high-risk with low completion rates1 and have been linked to acute lower limb injuries2 due to the forces generated when landing. To increase success when performing aerials and mitigate these potentially injurious forces when landing, a better understanding of how aerials are executed, and which technique features are related to better landing performance, are required to inform effective training practices for surfers.

How did I do it?

My thesis included six studies that addressed three thesis that aims to: establish what is documented in the scientific literature about surfing performance, develop and evaluate a model of aerial landing performance in surfing and examine how aerial manoeuvres are performed in a controlled environment. Study 1 included a systematic review exploring the current literature related to wave-riding performance and identified the key skills and attributes that were …

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