Recovering Surfer Seeking Tips and Advice

May 02, 2024 7:17 pm

Hey all, 5 days past surgery and made an account today. Lots to figure out and come to terms with, but so good to see so many people chatting on here. Confidence is a bit shot but sure it will come back soon.


Pre-surgery I surfed and want to do that again. I'm also paralyzed and surfed lying down on my board. Just wondering if anyone has any tips or good advice?

Mysterious Mose
May 02, 2024 7:37 pm

Welcome to our world, Mr. LB. Lots of good people here with all manners of good advice. Feel free to ask whatever ostomy questions strike your fancy. I live in a semi-arid climate and the only surfing I have ever done is down sand dunes on the south shore of the Salmon River. So, I can't offer any advice on your first question. :-)


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May 02, 2024 7:39 pm

Hold on tight. 😁 Oh, you meant about the ostomy thingy. 😬 An ostomy will only limit your life if you let it.

May 02, 2024 8:33 pm

Some people resist change, longing for the way things used to be — remembering the good and ignoring other limitations. Embrace change and view it as an opportunity to have a much better life. My youngest daughter, when confronted with a challenge, always says, "I can make this work." I even say it now because it's energizing and exciting to take on and conquer new challenges. Challenge yourself, Mr. LB! You can make it work. 😉

May 02, 2024 9:37 pm

If you can surf being paralyzed, then you can surf with an ostomy. Embrace the challenge. You might want to plan a bag change after you have been in the water a while, or use barrier extenders if you have peeling. You can also buy a wrap if you feel more secure wearing something around your bag to secure it in place. Don't give up something you love just because you have an ostomy now.

Getting Support in the Ostomy Community with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
May 03, 2024 1:43 am

Hi Mr.,

How you get around the surfboard thing will depend on what type of ostomy you have. If it's a colostomy, you may be able to irrigate and not have to worry about having any output at all when you surf. If you've got an ileo, you may have to cut a chunk out of your board where your bag will sit so it doesn't pop as you put weight on your stomach. But you can get creative and make it look like a shark took a bite out of your board in that area! Where there's a will, there's a way! Someone famous said that, but I don't remember who. Might have been Bill or Warrior... on second thought...


May 03, 2024 1:54 am
Reply to w30bob

Bob, will the weight be too much for a dome? I've never used one, so I don't know.

May 03, 2024 3:44 am

Hello, no surfing experience here, but I just wanted to say welcome!

May 03, 2024 6:28 am

Hello MrLB,

Welcome to our little corner of the World Wide Web. I surfed for 50 years all over the world. In that time, I've had many horrendous wipeouts. Unfortunately, there's no way I can comfortably and safely lay on a hard surfboard with my colostomy. Also, taking into consideration the dynamic body positioning required while surfing, especially getting caught "inside" and getting pounded. I've had my days...

I'm going to assume you're surfing on smaller waves. Do you use a soft board like a Morey Doyle?

There is a product for swimming with an ostomy called StomaGoggle Ostomy Belt. You can Google it for details. It might work for you. Like w30bob mentioned, you could cut a hole or section out of the board for your ostomy to fit in. Maybe a combo of soft Doyle board with section removed and StomaGoggle belt would work for you.

Keep us posted on your progress.

May 03, 2024 6:32 am

Also: More detail on your type of ostomy and your story. Helps everyone here to give proper advice and support.

May 03, 2024 8:22 am
Reply to aTraveler

Hi A,

If by 'dome' you mean a stoma guard or protector, then it wouldn't be the weight per se, but more the fact that the guard only covers the stoma, not the bag. And if the bag tries to fill while he's laying on it, the sharks will all be holding their noses and swimming away cursing. It's really the same problem as sleeping on your stomach at night. You won't hurt your stoma, but your bag won't have any room to expand to contain your output. Way back when ostomies were first becoming a thing, they considered putting the stoma through the lower back by our love handles, rather than through the front where we have it today. When I read that, I thought how stupid an idea that was. But I never considered that maybe all those docs may have been surfers! Then it would make a bit more sense!!


May 03, 2024 11:42 am
Reply to Beachboy

BB, I have a Stomagoogle and it would not work well for swimming — it is used for taking a shower/bath. It also has a 7" diameter but most pouches are 8" or longer; therefore, you have to curl up your pouch to get it in.

May 03, 2024 11:45 am
Reply to w30bob

I understand now, thanks for elucidating.

Morning glory
May 03, 2024 11:49 am

Welcome to the site. Great place to find friends and information. Sorry I can't answer questions about surfing, but I think you will come up with a solution.

May 03, 2024 11:51 am
Reply to aTraveler

Thanks! I was wondering if anyone on Ostomates had used one.

Mysterious Mose
May 03, 2024 5:41 pm
Reply to aTraveler

So, I gotta ask. What do you do to clean the area covered by that quite large strap? Do you then take a sponge bath afterward?


May 03, 2024 6:36 pm

I've never surfed or even seen an ocean, but unless you have high output... empty, ride a wave, empty, ride a wave, or however you can figure it out.

May 03, 2024 11:11 pm

@Daniel, one end of the strap is semi-permanently attached, but the other end snaps on and off. Near the end of the shower, I'll unsnap the one end and hold the suction cup with one hand and use the other hand to wash where the belt was. The belt is adjustable to set the tension in the belt tight enough to hold the suction cup in place. This takes a lot of trial and error if you don't have a flat stomach. It is a rubbery belt, so if too tight, the belt will slide, or if too loose, it is not tight enough to hold the suction cup to your stomach. It took about three showers before I got it right. Once you get the belt adjusted, it stays at that length, and then you can just snap it on and off to shower.

May 04, 2024 12:03 pm

So many great replies here, hearing all this positivity is so helpful and very much needed. All of this gives me hope that I'll be able to get back in the water again, just maybe taking it slowly at first and waiting for a month or so before I try and get the wetsuit on!

Mysterious Mose
May 04, 2024 3:41 pm
Reply to aTraveler