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Water Based Research Unit

Overview of the Water Based Research Unit

The Water Based Research Unit is focused upon investigating the health benefits and improving the sporting performance of all aquatic recreational and sporting activities. 

This Research Unit was established by Professor Wayne Hing (Head of Physiotherapy) and Associate Professor Michael Climstein.


The mission of the Water Based Research unit is to build the well-being of our communities by developing practical strategies & solutions through pragmatic health and sport research in real-world settings.


To achieve excellence in aquatic based research that will improve the health and performance of individuals participating in aquatic recreational/sporting activities.

Future directions

The water based research unit is aiming to continue to produce high quality research in a variety of water based sports. The aim is to provide a location for the ongoing research, assessment and treatment of water based athletes along with determining the most effective ways of maximising performance. Ongoing collaboration with international universities and local businesses and community groups will continue to maximise industry, educational and community engagement.

Behind the scenes of the Gold Coast Pro with Bond's Water Based Research Unit

Current projects

The Water Based Research unit has a large array of research equipment available to support various research projects:

  • Biomechanical analysis of SUP stroke
  • Assessment of Thoracic ROM with a smart phone application
  • Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) reliability/validity analysis
  • Establishing normative values for the Combined Elevation Test
  • The measurement of hip/shoulder strength for water based athletes
  • Case study of bone and muscle mass changes post surfing injuries
  • Examining the effect of hydration on recreational surfers
  • The specificity of ergometers as a training tool in water based sports
  • Evaluation of Surfer’s Ear (exostoses) in competitive and recreational surfers
  • Evaluation of Bone health in mature-aged surfers

The Water Based Research Unit is looking for potential higher degree research students (Master’s and PhD) interested in completing research in the area of water based sporting and/or recreational activities (surfing, stand up paddle boarding, surf life saving,swimming etc.). Students may choose  from available projects or propose research in an aquatic activity they prefer.

Please direct your inquires to the Director, Professor Wayne Hing

PhD Theses


Zac Pollard – Bone health in recreational mature-aged surfers: A preliminary investigation -  "Effects of chronic surfing on bone health in mature-aged males"

Higher Degree Research (HDR) students wanted

The Water Based Research Unit is looking for highly qualified Masters and PhD students to complete their degrees in the area of aquatic research. All research projects must fit within the Mission and Vision of the Water Based Research Unit.

Students interested in pursuing HDR study within the Water Based Research Unit are advised to contact a potential supervisor in their area of research with a proposed study. Students interested in applying for PhD study are expected (although not required) to have peer-reviewed publications at time of their application.

Sustainable surf tourism

This research stream explores sustainability in the context of surf tourism developing nations such as Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Fiji. The central aim of this research is to critically analyse the enablers and impediments to community-centred, sustainable approaches to surf tourism. The findings will result in a deeper understanding of how these often remote communities can utilise nature-based surf tourism resources for community building and poverty alleviation, and ultimately, decrease their reliance on less sustainable activities like mining, logging and fishing.

Publications and presentations

Contact the team

Studying the science of surfing | Bond x World Surf League Australia