Oura partners with WSL to support surfer health

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The Oura Ring is a wearable health device that tracks activity, heart rate, body temperature, sleep and overall readiness. From a surfing perspective, the device is fully waterproof and discreet – it literally fits on your finger. With a battery life of 7 days it might just be the ultimate wearable for surfers – look out for our forthcoming Oura Ring product review.

The World Surf League and Oura Health have partnered to help the world’s best competitive surfers return to competition. As the WSL kicks off the Australian leg of the Championship Tour (CT), surfers and on-site staff can opt-in to receive an Oura Ring to monitor their health.

The WSL will also use Oura’s Health Risk Management (HRM) platform throughout competitions to help with health and safety protocols as part of its robust and thorough COVID health and safety plans for each event. The HRM platform assigns a unique Risk Score to participating athletes and staff members that correlates with an individual’s overall wellness. In the event that someone’s score dips below certain levels, Oura will send an alert directly to the individual to let them know.

Oura helps surfers optimize their performance potential by delivering personalized Readiness, Activity, and Sleep insights automatically to their Oura app, just by wearing the Oura Ring throughout the day and night.

Lakey Peterson, a new brand ambassador for Oura Ring said, “Oura has been a game-changer for my overall performance. It’s been amazing to take a deeper look into my sleep and what is affecting it. As a professional athlete and having increased training demands, Oura really allows me to monitor recovery levels and get a true understanding of how to enhance sleep and recovery.” 

Supporting surfer wellbeing

We caught up with Bob Kane, Head of COVID Strategy, World Surf League.

Hi Bob, hope you are well. Great to hear WSL is taking such a proactive approach to athlete wellbeing in partnership with Oura. What makes Oura the ideal solution for your COVID strategy? 

As we prepared to kick-off the Australian leg of the World Surf League’s Championship Tour, we evaluated a number of ways to further augment the WSL’s COVID health and safety protocols that we rolled out in Hawaii in December. We were very impressed with the functionality of the Oura Ring and with their success in working with other sports leagues and teams. The Oura Ring is incredibly easy to use and is helping us to ensure the health of our staff and athletes.

How have the athletes responded to using wearable technology? 

Our athletes were incredibly excited to receive the Oura Ring. I have heard from a number of athletes who are using the Oura Ring to help improve their sleep and performance.

Will the HRM platform enable both risk management and performance optimization? It will be fascinating to track the impact of travel, waiting periods, etc. How do you envision the partnership with Oura into the future? 

Right now our focus is on the safety of our athletes as we navigate the current COVID pandemic. As we look to the future, I can certainly see opportunities for the WSL to partner with Oura Ring to help our athletes optimize their performance. We are a truly global sport with events held at the best waves around the world, and with the long flights to many of these locations, there is a premium on helping our athletes get better sleep and recovery in order to optimize their performance in the surf.

Athlete safety and performance

We caught up with Harpreet Rai, the CEO of Oura Health.

Hi Harpreet, congratulations on the collaboration with WSL. What interests you about working with the world’s best surfers?

It’s been amazing to work with some of the world’s greatest athletes as the sports industry ramps back up, and we’re so excited for this new partnership with the World Surf League.

Oura has always been focused on helping improve overall health, but this has certainly taken on a whole new meaning in the current times. Oura can help bring surfers and staff peace of mind and confidence about their health and safety as they return to the waters on their Championship Tour.

We believe that with personalized insights that offer a better view of health, Oura can help athletes prioritize the impact that sleep has on mental clarity, reaction time, and peak physical performance. Surfers who travel frequently for competitions often experience disrupted sleep schedules, and it’s crucial to prioritize adequate sleep for their mental and physical recovery.

Your HRM platform is revolutionary in understanding both group risk factors and performance optimization. Is this the future of group wellbeing and sustainable high performance?

Yes, we believe that proactively arming people with data is an essential part of leading healthier lives and ultimately preventing illness. Health is something that is practiced every day, and people are recognizing the power of understanding their personal data and using it to take actionable steps to improve their health and performance.

HRM is a new expansion of our existing Oura Teams product that helps organizations optimize performance and monitor a person’s wellness. Athletes and staff can opt-in to voluntarily share relevant Oura data with authorized personnel through an anonymous dashboard that provides them with an aggregated Risk Score. This Risk Score is determined using factors such as meaningful changes in body temperature, respiratory rate, resting heart rate, and heart rate variability. By implementing a solution that can help to optimize performance and monitor a user’s wellness, employers and employees are empowered with information to keep their teams healthy.

More information about the Oura Ring and WSL partnership can be found here.

About Oura Health:

Oura Health is the company behind the smart ring providing actionable insights on sleep and its impact on overall health. The ring tracks all stages of sleep and accounts for daily activity to provide practical steps for long term improvement. Founded in 2013, Oura is now used by top performers including Jack Dorsey, Michael Dell, Arianna Huffington, Marc Benioff, the NBA, the WNBA, NASCAR, UFC and more. Oura Health is headquartered in Oulu, Finland, with offices in Helsinki and San Francisco. Oura has raised a total of $48.3M of funding from Forerunner Ventures, MSD Capital, Gradient Ventures, and Square. For more information, please visit http://ouraring.com/.

The Oura Ring is not a medical device and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, monitor, or prevent medical conditions/illnesses.

About the WSL

Established in 1976, the World Surf League (WSL) is the home of the world’s best surfing. 

A global sports, media and entertainment company, the WSL oversees international tours and competitions, a studios division creating over 500+ hours of live and on-demand content, and via affiliate WaveCo, the home of the world’s largest high performance, human-made wave. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, the WSL has regional offices in North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and EMEA.

The WSL annually crowns the men’s and women’s surfing World Champions. The global Tours and Competition division oversees and operates more than 180 global contests each year across the Championship Tour, the development tiers, including the Challenger, Qualifying and Junior Series, as well as longboard and big wave properties.  

Launched in 2019, WSL Studios is an independent producer of unscripted television projects, including documentaries and series, which provide unprecedented access to athletes, events, and locations around the world. WSL events and content are distributed on linear television in over 743M+ homes worldwide and across digital and social media platforms around the world, including WorldSurfLeague.com. 

WaveCo includes the Surf Ranch Lemoore facility and the utilizing and licensing of the Kelly Slater Wave System.

The WSL is dedicated to changing the world through the inspirational power of surfing by creating authentic events, experiences, and storytelling to inspire a growing, global community to live with purpose, originality, and stoke.  

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.