How Snowboarders Get Injured

Snowboarder Jumping
By Fara Rosenzweig

While snowboarding is less dangerous than other sports, over the past 10-plus years, snowboard injuries have increased from 3.37 per 1,000 visits to 6.97, according to the National Ski Areas Association.

Part of the reason is due to the increase in popularity. Beginner’s strap on their boards with no formal instruction, fatigue out, and run a higher risk of injury than those who are experienced or gone through training.

Regardless of skill, injuries happen. Experts say many snowboard injuries are due falling because of fatigue or form, according to National Institute of Health. Also, snowboarders have both feet fixed to a single board, and arms are used for balance instead of poles like skiers. Therefore, the typical mechanism of snowboarding injury is a forward or backward fall broken by outstretched arms and hyperextended wrists.

In addition to falling, unsuccessful jumps cause many snowboard injuries. Injuries associated with jumping are head, spinal, facial, arm and abdominal. This includes jumps from the snow park, moguls and terrain park mounds.

Besides technique, fatigue and muscle overuse causes most common snowboard injuries. These injuries usually are not immediate. Experts say these appear the next day with signs of swelling, bruising and soreness or pain.

Surprisingly, 2.6 percent of snowboard accidents are caused by snowboarders colliding into other snowboarders and one percent of collisions are skiers running itno snowboarders, according to the National Ski Areas Association. It’s important to learn how to stop to avoid others on the mountain.

To prevent such injuries, do the following:

Prepare: Get in shape off the mountain before going on the slopes.

Get the Right Equipment:

  • Make sure you have proper boots, bindings and board.
  • Wear protective gear, especially if you have a previous injury, such as a wrist wrap or ankle support.

Know the Responsibility Code: This will help to avoid collisions

  • Ride within your skill set
  • Watch for other skiers and snowboarders
  • Always look uphill before entering a trial
  • Move to the side if you have to stop
  • Observe all posted signs
  • Know how to get on and off of the chair lifts properly
  • Respect others on the slope