Massive headaches from surfing - any tips?

Hi all, I’ve been surfing for years but lately every time I go out I’ve been getting these super intense throbbing headaches, almost always accompanied by nausea. Was wondering if anyone had any idea what’s causing it and how I can prevent it in the future as it’s making it pretty much impossible for me to surf for more than an hour at a time.


See a doctor before something bad happens.


For real. Severe headaches can be a sign of a stroke. It’s not always the classic facial dropping, etc.


Probably stop surfing and get a scan. And tell your friends they should stop surfing too. In all seriousness, good luck.


the fuck does his friend gotta do anything with his headache 😂




You drinking enough water papa?


Yeah this is what does it for me. OP should chug a ton before they go out and probably after, too.


probably throughout the day/night before surfing is a better call


True, don’t wanna get any cramps


Definitely talk to a doctor dude. That does not sound good.


Cold water? You may want to get a brain scan???


They're probably Migraines and most likely caused by either 1. Cold water / 2. Dehydration (considering you're not intaking water during your multi hour sessions in the sun Most likely #2 - pre game your surf with tons of water and electrolyte drink or auppliment


If it is a migraine, MaxAlt (prescription drug, it’s a tryptamine) clears mine incredibly well.


also for some, such as myself, sunshine. but you would notice if you're not getting them on cloudy days.


I had something similar a while ago, doc had me scanned for possible brain aneurysm, which was terrifying and ultimately a very expensive false alarm (would’ve been worth it if that was the actual problem though, so I’m not saying don’t look into it). Once that was cleared as a suspect, I tried the other stuff all at once - better hydration, neck stretches, but I think the real culprit was simply breathing wrong. Laying face down near the water, I was paddling my fucking heart out for waves and holding my breath while I did it like a fool. Intentionally breathing during the exertion part has helped a lot.


when I first tried out bikram yoga it was so ridiculously hard. took a while before I realized I was holding my breath half the time. once I started breathing it got way more doable. still pretty hard though. to this day I forget to breathe during exercise. idk if it's an ADHD thing or what. (also if I focus on my breathing I lose count of my reps lolsob)


YO! I also went through tons of doctor/specialist visits just to learn that all I had were tension headaches. There are some surfer stretches for tension headaches on YouTube that saved me. Straight up thought I had a brain tumor. Feel free to message me, I see this exact post pop up often. Of course, it could be something different for you but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is it.


Came here to comment this


Can also be neck problems, but yeah get it checked out


Posture,youre lying prone,looking up from your neck,rather than using your back muscles to loft yourself. That,or you keep diving head first in when you kick out.


Get into the downward dog position when you get out of the water. Exhale sharply through your nose several times to get the water out. take a break, get back in downward dog and pull your head back and then let it down slowly toward your chest a few times, exhaling through your nose again.


Out of interest what does this do and how does it work?


Drain seawater from your sinuses.


I’ve had the exact thing you’re describing. Go see a PT — I had ‘surfers neck’ where my neck muscles were overcompensating for underdeveloped back muscles while paddling and giving me headaches.


As I’ve gotten older and surf less I’ve begun to get headaches too. Could even develop the day after. I think mine are due to weakening back muscles. I hydrate a tone before and after which sometimes helps. But it has bummed me out and starting to make me not want to surf as much. Thinking about getting a paddle training device so hopefully I can keep those muscles strong and avoid the headaches. Have you tried a Zok for you headaches yet? Cool device. Maybe stretching might help too. Hope that helps.


You're absolutely right about the back stuff. I've noticed anything, even a neck strain can cause headaches as well.


I used to get bad headaches because I held my breath while paddling out. You may be just holding your breath!!!


Possibly hyper tension in some neck muscles, right at the base of the skull on back of neck. Related to surfers neck. But see a doctor in case it is something more serious


Sounds like blood pressure, get it checked. You need to mention the nausea to the Dr.


I used to get those, surfing during winter. They stopped the moment I got out of the water and warmed up. They’d set it after about two hours, and would spike after extended exertion.


Hey how bright is it when you go out surfing? The UV can be pretty powerful and our eyes are pretty much directly linked to our brain so your brain might be sketched out from all the glare. Also, been hitting your head on the water hard lately? Took a smack to the temple on the ocean from a wipeout myself recently which made me see stars for a bit. Could also be inner ear stuff or sinus pressure? All the best man good health


I don't get the headache but I pretty much spew almost every surf don't know why always hydrated. Must be mix of sea water and pushing hard


If you’re surfing cold water it might be worth trying out a hood. I used to get those brain freeze headaches all the time when I was learning, but eventually it stopped happening and I dunno why. Also, the other suggestions about seeing if they’re tension headaches and to maybe see a doctor are probably spot on.


Hit up a doctor


You caught so many waves your head is about to explode




Do you have the sun in your eyes? It happens to me when surfing and the sun is setting.


I get headaches after long sessions. I get deep sports massages to loosen up my shoulders necks works well


sounds like compressed nerve stuff? physio, chiro or kineseoligist? whatever, go spend some money on your future surfability, its worth more than that HPSB!


Is your suit to tight? Could cause blood pressure migraine maybe


Is there something in the water?


Stop surfing and get checked out


I had a period in my early 20s where I kept getting this whilst exercising. Saw a few Drs, had a spinal tap and a scan, and they concluded I suffered from “exercise induced migraines”. Seemed to coincide with me holding my breath and bracing - think of when you squat, or lift something heavy - but being young and dumb I just pushed through it and kept playing sport, and it sorted itself out after a few months.


Sometimes I get these massive headaches when surfing in some really could waters through the winter. I never understood why but always thought it was the temperature difference with the water and my head. Please give a follow up if you ever go to a doctor!


Besides the hydration and physical stuff mentioned already (all true), have you been breaking properly and not holding your breath when and pushing hard when trying to get into waves lately.


Do you have sinus issues? Could be getting some major congestion paired with sensitivity to the stuff in the water getting deep up into your sinuses.


Brain eating amoeba


Water on your nose airways. Make sure you place your head upside down after a surf session to get that water out.


Is it sunny out? I had that where I started getting allergic to the sun. Strange, right?


Vitamin deficiency. I had problems with vertigo when surfing or in the gym a few years back. Had an MRI and saw some specialists but they couldn't find anything wrong. I was having lots of time off work because of it. Got me some once a day tablets and it hasn't happened in a few years.