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Is windsurfing with a sprained ankle a good idea?

1.10.2013 Posted in Windsurfing blog No Comments
Is windsufing with a sprained ankle a good idea?

My hypothesis:

If I patch and support my sprained ankle enough, it will be okay to go go windsurfing!

To spend 2 weeks injured with a sprained ankle is rather boring. When in addition you are missing good wind and super wave conditions it becomes unbearable. So finally being able to walk almost normally without pains, it was time to test how the ankle would perform on the water.

I started by putting a supporting bandage forming a “number eight” around my ankle. Afraid that it would fall off after a while on the water I added a few lengths of the windsurfers number one utility tool, the duct tape, to secure it. Ready to go!

The conditions were more than good. A nice on shore wind of force 5 combined with some pretty decent waves, bore the promise of a fun day on the water. After a couple of tacks, passing the breakers and the unstable wind near the beach without problems I was in the zone. My ankle seemed to have taken no damage so far, and frankly it seemed to work like before the injury.

Unfortunately, and not so surprising, windsurfing with a sprained ankle did not feel too good. Although I got my injured foot in the straps with little effort, it turned out that doing the small movements and fine adjustments you do all the time as normal was rather difficult. It might have been 80% mentally caused, but I felt I needed to place my foot in another angle in the strap to be sure it would be alright. To compensate my other foot automatically took a non-natural stance, with the effect that my whole body position was wrong.

Going high speed was scary, and being airborne was just out of the question. So the whole session turned out to be a session of what I like to call “chicken sailing” – where you do more to avoid waves and gathering speed, rather than going for it. Typically this happens when you are scared, and I guess it was down to that. I was scared that my ankle would not be able to stand the impact of landing a jump or nose-into-the-water catapult. I returned to the shore after 30-40 minutes, not feeling very excited.

My conclusion:

It was okay to go windsurfing with a sprained ankle, but unfortunately it took most of the fun out of the experience.