Shoulder Pain in relation to board size?


Active Member
Oct 19, 2006
2 years ago I dealt with a serious shoulder impingement and torn bursa. I was out of the water for about 6 months, rehabbed it and continue to nurse it. I do get lazy with my strengthening and stretches until it flares up.

I noticed though that if I surf my logs it tends to aggravate the injury easier.

This does not seem to happen as easy or at all if I’m on a mid or even my fishes.

Has anyone else experienced this?
I don’t want to give up logging especially since I live in a poor wave quality area.
Any input on boards that might bridge the gap?


Well-Known Member
Dec 27, 2016
Devon, UK
Does it happen when knee-paddling as well as prone? I know a few older guys who knee paddle as the shoulder is working in a more restricted ROM than whilst prone.


Well-Known Member
Nov 10, 2020
oceanside ca
Have you had an MRI recently on our shoulder? From my experience with shoulder pain / surgery / and rehab, if you still have pain there is some sort of structural injury that is not healing. I dont think its the board its your shoulder. Is your labrum ok on your shoulder? I had a labrum injury that i tried my hardest to fix with rehab... eventually got surgery ( 5 years ago) and no problems since.

Back to the board if for some reason the shoulder is what it is, have you tried a lightweight slightly smaller longboard? Like a 9'2" epoxy type like some sort of firewire i would think would give the paddle power and easiest on shoulder and works in little waves


Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2020
North Carolina
I have had several shoulder injuries over the years. Surfing a heavy log definitely flares it up more than shorter boards. Not sure if it is the weight, width or combination of the two.

What helps me most: staying on top of my shoulder exercise routine and really focusing on paddling technique. Making sure I am using my back and lats to lift my chest up while paddling. The more tired I get I tend to lift less which puts more stress on the shoulders. The higher your chest is lifted, the less ROM your shoulders need to go through for each paddling stroke.

Hope that helps!


Active Member
May 29, 2018
Long Beach, NY
When you're paddling on a big board, you're more on top of the water, versus a 'short' board where your shoulders are a bit more in the water line, putting forces on different parts of your shoulder. I've found this difference to occasionally re aggravate of shoulder pain on smaller boards vs the larger.

If possible, the solution isn't to switch to a board that puts stress on a different part of your shoulder, rather properly be on top of the rehab exercises... but if the waves are pumping it can be very hard.. go with what doesn't hurt and be careful not to injure yourself worse.


Well-Known Member
Dec 18, 2020
A board over 22" always felt awkward on my shoulders. Likewise a big heavy board, I was more of a mid-size rider and stuck with 21 to 21 1/2" max. Even so, paying attention to body mechanics and recognizing where you get the most leverage is critical to stay healthy. Swim lessons or a paddling coach might have helped me. I'm still getting in the water plenty but have been under the knife several times, starting soon after turning 50.

Ignoring inflammation isn't a good approach for longevity in the line up.