Digitally Enhanced Surfers

The latest reported study to contemplate our digit ratios seems to have taken place while enjoying the sun soaked Cornish beaches. To be specific, Newquay in 2009 (it takes a long time to drag oneself away to write the paper and then get the knowledgeable peer-reviewers to leave off waxing their boards and get to work.)

Kilduff, Cook, and Manning have been down on the beach with their rulers to check on the entrants to the 2009 Men’s 5-Star Professional World Qualifying Series surfing  competition (1).  I spotted a reference to this gem in the Annals of Improbable Research (2).

In summary, the 46 competitors were graded by three coaches for ability and the results compared with right and left hand ratios of digit number 2 to digit number 4. Their actual placement in the competition was thrown into the mix as a final check (on the coaches judgment, presumably).

It seems that to be good at surfing you need to have a low 2D:4D value on your right hand. The left hand ratio doesn’t work out, so you’d best keep that hand out of sight.

Of course, this is all down to your Mom as your digit ratio is a function of your prenatal testosterone and estrogen levels. More testosterone means lower digit ratio, more estrogen, conversely, means a higher ratio. Nowhere did I see any mention if the surfers were all right handed.

Similar results have been found for other sports, but for now if your digit ratio on your right hand is less than 0.994, get that wax out and get your board down to the beach; we’ll be cheering you on.

  1. L.P. Kilduff, C.J. Cook,& J.T. Manning, J. Strength Cond. Res., 25, 3175, (2011)

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One Response so far.

  1. jazgal says:

    Wonder how long it took him to figure out that bit of a niche research project? But you gotta do what you love, right?

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