Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Material for rib pad

  1. May 17, 2018 #1
    I broke my rib a few years ago. It healed in a way that it sticks out a little past the end of my rib-cage. I want to learn to surf, but it is uncomfortable to lay on my stomach on the board because of the rib. I would like to make a pad to relieve pressure on the rib that sticks out.

    I think a moldable material would give the best fit. It needs to be tough, waterproof, and resistant to corrosion by salt. I am imagining some sort of rubber.

    I plan to tape or glue this pad to my ribs. A quick internet search found that actors use a variety of glues for glueing things like elf-ears and mustaches to themselves.

    What are some options for a material that would make a good pad for my ribs? It cannot be too soft, because it won't provide enough support, but it also cannot be too hard.

    First time poster. Feedback is appreciated. Thanks!
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  2. jcsd
  3. May 17, 2018 #2


    Staff: Mentor


    That's an interesting and unique equation.

    I don't have a material suggestion. But if the board was molded to your body, it might be difficult to position your body to exactly the right place. I would wear the molded pad like clothing and use a standard board.
  4. May 17, 2018 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the PF.

    Are you talking about making a pad that you attach to the surfboard, or one that you wear?

    Also, how cold is the water where you are learning? The ocean in Northern California is cold enough that surfers wear thin wetsuits, but in Hawaii, those are not needed... :smile:
  5. May 17, 2018 #4
    I plan to attach the pad to myself. I think a slippery coating on top of the pad would let it slide inside the wetsuit.

    I am in the pacific northwest, and the water is about 50 degrees. I wore a 5/4/3 wetsuit, but it did not provide enough padding. My rib was quite sore after a session of a few hours.
  6. May 17, 2018 #5


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    How about affixing a foam ring inside the wetsuit that goes around the rib? That would protect it, and spread out the contact area so hopefully it's comfortable to lay on. Kind of like we do when dressing blisters with moleskin...


  7. May 17, 2018 #6
  8. May 17, 2018 #7


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Some kind of felt, I think. Here's the whole YouTube video...

  9. May 17, 2018 #8


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    A ring of several layers of closed cell foam seems good. Yoga mats are a readily available source of the stuff.
  10. May 19, 2018 #9


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?