With one in four surfers suffering from lower back pain, Irish surfer David Collins – himself being part of that statistic – set about trying to find a solution that would keep him in the water longer and relieve his acute back pains.
David had two major disc operations on his lower back, which was not helped by 20 years surfing. This is where the idea for PaddlePillow was born.
“The more I surfed, the more pain I was in.” David told us.
His eureka moment came during a surf when his hands were too warm in his gloves.
It provides crucial support at chest level which reduces strain and pain on my lower back
“I took off my gloves and pushed them into my wetsuit for safekeeping. I realised that my gloves supported my chest as I lay on my board. To my surprise, it actually eased pressure on my lower back. There was something to this, and I was determined to do whatever it took so that I didn’t have to stop surfing altogether.”
He tried many different solutions including bubble wrap and polystyrene packaging until settling on his final air pocket design.
“My personal experience is that it provides me with crucial support at chest level which reduces strain and pain on my lower back, leaving more energy to paddle” David said.
“Since using PaddlePillow, I surf more often and for longer, and guess what, I’m not laid out afterwards trying to recover from excruciating back pain.” He added
So what exactly is PaddlePillow?
It’s a small waterproof inflatable air-pocket which you drop into your wetsuit and position across your chest-bone. Discrete and light, it won’t weigh you down. Plus it’s re-useable, just keep it with your gear and avoid sharp objects otherwise you may pop it.
Since its launch PaddlePillow has been picked up and lauded by worldwide surf press including The Inertia (below) and Surfer Today.
To find out how PaddlePillow can make a difference to your surfing and increase your water-time head over to the PaddlePillow site.