Surfing Injuries Caused by the
Eye Loss Due to Physical Trauma
The owner of WearSurfGlasses.com has an artificial eye because of a surfing accident. It is one of the more common major accidents caused by surfing (drowning is more common). It rarely happens that someone looses an eye from impact on the bottom. The people who hit a reef with their head that hard usually die.
Learning Surfers are Dangerous
When learning how to surf you are much more at risk for losing an eye than when you have gained some experience. The biggest problem is other peoples surf boards. Learning surfers are always in someone's way. Sometimes a good surfers (who are also complete asshole) will run very near anyone who is in there way. As accidents do happen, this is very dangerous. More commonly, damage is done by learning surfers. Learning surfers have very little control over their boards when they are surfing and even worse when they are paddling out through the surf. Often they do not pay attention to what is around them. In bigger surf their surfboards are too much to manage and they flail around like logs in the waves. Fin cuts can be very bad. Fins are sharp and sometimes they carry enough momentum to cut through your flesh like a fish. Fin hits to the face are not as common, but they can leave you looking like Al Pachino, or potentially take an eye out. Some companies offer "soft fins" that are safer.
Surfer Common Sense: Fin cuts can be bad but I should be sweet! I have duck tape and crazy glue in my surf wagon!
Strong hits from rail of the surfboard are triply bad. They are bad because like any hit they hurt and if they get you in the noggin they can make you unconscious (which could = death, so get a Gath Surf Helmet). They are doubly bad because they ding your surfboard, which means you have to fix it. And they are triply bad because you can get fiberglass splinters in your skin. Your big bruise will also itch like hell. I have a friend whose face was crushed by the rail of her surf board in some very big surf. They needed reconstructive surgery and lost vision in one eye. Surf sunglasses would not have saved her, but they may have helped. Getting hit by the nose of a short board usually cuts the hell out of the skin and requires stitches. Bad injuries from the tip of the surfboard are especially common to the face. You should always cover your head when you fall. This usually protects you from the board but if the nose is coming straight at you the board can pass through the space in between your arms and still hit you in the face. This is how my eye was irreparably injured. The board did not hit me hard, but the point got me straight in the eye and firm enough to make the eyeball explode. If it would have hit me harder I would have died. If I had been wearing surf sunglasses I would have been completely fine.
Always cover your head when you fall. Bruising your arm is better than getting knocked unconscious.
If I had always worn surf sunglasses I would still have both my eyes; but my Halloween costumes would not be nearly as good.