Laceration is not just the name of an Indonesian surf break, it’s also one of the most common injuries for surfers.
The awesome big wave surfer Keala Kennelly once suffered a horrendous laceration which needed 30 stitches after a wipeout in Teahupoo.
How do I spot it?
A pretty easy one, you’re likely to know if you have been cut.
How do I treat it?
Clean the wound and add a sterile compression while trying to keep the affected area above heart level to reduce the bleeding.
If the bleeding repeatedly makes its way through the bandages, then stitches are likely to be needed.
If the bleeding is profuse then apply as much pressure as you can and call for an ambulance (or make your own way to the nearest medical centre if you are somewhere remote).
You need to be as careful as you can if you have been cut to avoid the risk of infection, not least if you were surfing near a sewage outlet, where Hepatitis A will be a risk.
Alternatively, if you have been in contact with live reef then a staph infection could be a problem. Either of these scenarios requires seeking medical help as soon as you can.
How do I avoid it?
Not easily unless you go for a 6:4 wettie and stick to beach breaks. Even then you have fin chops to contend with.
The best thing you can do is research the break, know your limits and tap all the local knowledge you can.