Best Board for Shoulder Injury


Well-Known Member
Nov 12, 2014
USA Rhode Island
Big floaty epoxy ones
That glider that Keith recommends is Perfect
If a glider scares you Or you need more maneuverability those Takayama’s epoxy are awesome
906 or ten

Amd if carrying a board Is an issue
Protect the shoulder
Get one of those Half way bags To help you carry the board if the walk is long


Well-Known Member
Jun 9, 2019
San Clemente, CA
I wouldn’t think that carrying a board would be a problem, unless you have two bad shoulders. If popping up is a problem, just get an easy paddler and paddle for rehab rather then surf for now.


Active Member
Oct 14, 2015
Going through this issue. I have not had surgery but older snowboard injury causes me pain in my right shoulder. Getting my 10'6" x 24 1/2" x 4" off the roof rack and down the trail does not help my shoulder. If anything, it aggravates it. Poidog is right. You don't want to do heavy lifting with your elbows away from your body. I have a 6'9" x23" x 3 1/4" eps epoxy with a shoulder strap bag that works well for long hikes and punchy beachbreaks. I want to try something like a traditional glider 10'6" x 22 1/2" x 3 1/4" light glass job next. If you're surfing a spot with a short walk and a nice channel to paddle through, a big heavy board you can carry on your head might fit the bill? Good luck.


Well-Known Member
May 25, 2020
San Francisco
I've backed off from screaming about how great mats are; I've learned you have to be interested in the first place. And they aren't much fun in weak surf at all. But all this advice about light boards is Word- as a log newbie I'm really struck by how much more physically demanding a big heavy board is when not actually up and riding.
Anyway, maybe this will stoke you. Maybe not.... I picked out some subpar waves (anything looks good in great waves). Best wishes for your recovery!


May 29, 2018
Long Beach, NY
I've had torn rotator cuff issues that goes and come back every so often. I've found heavier boards tend to wear out my shoulder much quicker than lighter ones. That being said, a boards paddling ability to go from stationary to wave catching speed easily also comes to play with having less pain and longer sessions.


Aug 8, 2019
Bodega Bay
Wow! these recs are all over the map. My shoulder popped while pinned against my glider almost this day last year! Everything seized up and I got a frozen shoulder. Rehab for a few months and just got back in the water as the beaches got shut down in our area for Covid. Was having some shoulder issues for a couple of years from trying to ride and MORE IMPORTANTLY hold onto an 11 foot glider and logs in short period NorCal beach break.s NOT easy on the shoulders and I realized that coolness was out and a leash was critical after it was too late!

What worked FOR ME was getting a SurfTech 9-6 Velzy of Craigslist (blind luck that one was on there, have not seen one up here since in the last couple of years). The 10 footer was too much board (a friend has one that I had tried and got inspired by). The 9-6 paddles like a bigger board because of how light it was but was easy to haul around and get moving by paddling because of how light it was. I actually fell in love with that board and found that it was a better noserider than any other purpose-built noserider that I have ever tried! It is all belly on the bottom. No concave. Egg rails nose to tail. It finds its line!

Small boards = BAD because of temptation to duck dive and punch through in a push up style or the temptation to manhandle through waves and whitewater. Bigger boards torqued too hard on the shoulder to get moving via paddling, carrying, or bone-headed times I forgot that I was in injury mode and tried to hold on. You gotta find the perfect compromise of paddle and management.

Surf Mat: Tried. HELL NO!!!! Try to hold on to one of those things through a bunch of waves!!! Rip your shoulder out for good! Plus all the weird manhandling involved and leg cramps and stuff from those fins. Hand plane is an automatic shoulder BLASTER! Nope.

No shame here: If it gets really bad. I used a wavestorm for a bit. Paddled in and just rode on my knees and prone. They are light and catch anything. Out of the way spot as to not get in the way or hear the heckles from my bros. Needed to get wet and move arms and did not want to worry about holding on to board or hurting others. I ended up having some mind altering moments with that system on small, closed-out days. No worries. No style. Just getting the shoulder rehabbed through range of motion and exercise. No gripe with bailing it either. And I got one of the best tubes of my life belly riding that piece of crap! Totally trimmed out on all 8 ft of crappy foam!

I now have an 8-2 Andreini McVee. Fun in small stuff and is crappy in anything over shoulder high. I would now recommend that board because it paddles well, catches waves well, is light and easy to manage, a little too big to duck dive and its limits are about the limits of what you should do with a crappy/recovering shoulder. I am keeping the SufTech Velzy until it explodes or implodes or dies or whatever because you can ride it in pretty much anything from ankle to double overhead +. It won't be the best option, but it will handle. I remember reading a thing by Velzy where he said something to the effect of " back then we did not call them longboards or pigs or whatever. They were just surfboards and a guy could usually only afford to own just one and had to ride it in everything".