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J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Nov;25(11):3175-80. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318212de8e.

Digit ratio (2D:4D) and performance in male surfers.

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Health and Sport Portfolio, College of Engineering, Swansea University, Wales, United Kingdom.


The relative length of the second and fourth digits (2D:4D) is thought to be negatively related to prenatal testosterone and positively related to prenatal estrogen. Low 2D:4D has been linked to various measures of performance in a range of sports (e.g., soccer, rugby). In this study, we consider the relationship between 2D:4D and performance among male surfers. Our sample comprised 46 competitors in the Men's 5-star Professional World Qualifying Series surfing competition in Newquay, United Kingdom, in 2009. Three experienced surfing coaches rated the participants for overall surfing ability. The coach's ratings were significantly correlated with one another and an overall measure of surfing performance was obtained by calculating the mean of the 3 ratings. In addition, the final placing of the Newquay competition was used as an additional performance measure. Mean 2D:4D (SD) was as follows: right 0.994 (0.023) and left 0.976 (0.028). We found that right 2D:4D (but not left 2D:4D or right-left 2D:4D) was significantly negatively correlated with coaches' ratings (r(s) = 0.58) and the competition result (r(s) = 0.30). It appears that in line with other sports that low right 2D:4D (high prenatal testosterone and low prenatal estrogen) correlates to high surfing ability in men.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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