Common Surf Camp Guest Question: How to Avoid Rib Bruising From Paddling?

This is, by far, one of the most common questions I get from surf camp guests, it goes something like this…“I have this brutal rash/bruising on my ribs, what can I do to make it go away? More importantly, how can I make sure this doesn’t happen again?”

If you’ve ever experienced rib bruising, you know how painful it can be. It’s terrible. For me, when I’m on a surf trip or surfing multiple days in a row, I start getting a little bruising after about three days.

While avoiding it all together might be next to impossible — I know, not exactly the answer you’re looking for — there are some things you can do to minimize the damage.

Two Ways To Minimize Rib Bruising

Note: Using a rash guard or light wetsuit top might help take a little pressure off the ribs in the short-term, so I would definitely start there.

The better, long-term solution is two-fold:

1) Eliminate “rib flaring”

Flared ribs is a condition that results from poor posture and/or excessive chest breathing. The ribs protrude out, instead of sitting under the shoulders, putting extra pressure on those ribs while paddling on the board. Try to do some “rib down” breathing drills to get the ribs in a better position.

2) Increase range of motion in your shoulders

While paddling, if you have poor range of motion in your shoulders your body will compensate by overarching your low back and flaring your ribs, while lifting your arms overhead. Of course, there should be a little arch in your low back while paddling, but having good shoulder range of motion will limit the amount of rib flare. Again: Less rib flare = less rib bruising.

Check out this 2-minute video which further explains while giving you two simple drills to try. Ideally, spend 5-10 minutes on this every day.

I hope this helps. Keep me posted on how it goes and feel free to drop me a note with any questions.

If you want a deeper dive into healthy hips and shoulders, check out my free 5-day video series. I’ll walk you through a simple, one-minute assessment pinpointing exactly what YOUR specific weakness is. Then I’ll give you a step-by-step approach to correct your issues with specific stretches and soft-tissue drills.

Recent Posts

The News We've All Been Waiting For

The News We've All Been Waiting For

Hey there, It’s Joe from Witch’s Rock Surf Camp, how's it going? Have you been able to surf a[...]
What's May Like in Costa Rica?

What's May Like in Costa Rica?

Are you planning a surf trip to Costa Rica in the upcoming months but not sure when to come? If you’[...]
Get Out & Surf Podcast #43 - Big Wave Charger Andrew Cotton

Get Out & Surf Podcast #43 - Big Wave Charger Andrew Cotton

Here's your fair warning.....Listening to this podcast may result in feelings of vertigo. That's bec[...]
Get Out & Surf Podcast Ep. 38 | Surviving A Crocodile Attack with Jon Becker

Get Out & Surf Podcast Ep. 38 | Surviving A Crocodile Attack with Jon Becker

In July 2016, Jon Becker was paddling across the Tamarindo Estuary in Costa Rica after surfing — som[...]

Start Planning Your Surf Trip Today

contact (1)

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Call us or fill this form and we will get back to you quickly, usually within a couple of hours.

Email: witchsrocksurfcamp@gmail.com
US/Canada: 1-888-318-7873
Costa Rica: +506-2653-1262
Surf Camp Front Desk: +506-2653-1238

Costa Rica Surf Camp
Our Reservations Office is available 7 days/week to answer all of your questions and book your surf trip.
CALL NOW 1-888-318-7873
SURFER AGENTS ON DUTY
Reservaation Team WRSC