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Snowboarding Safety

Is Snowboarding Dangerous?

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-quarter of all emergency hospital visits are attributed to snowboarding accidents, and half of all cases were for broken bones and sprains.
  • Snowboarding involves a slightly higher risk of injury than skiing (around 3-5 injuries per thousand days riding compare to 2-3 injuries per thousand days of skiing).
  • The majority of injuries are to young men who are new to the sport and have not taken any lessons.
  • Most injuries, especially to young riders, are to the upper limbs, the most common being wrist injuries. Wearing wrist guards can cut that risk by as much as half.
  • The next most common injuries are head injuries (a good reason for your child to wear a helmet, and then lower limb, mostly ankle injuries.
  • You can reduce the risk that your child will suffer an ankle injury by making sure he wears boots that are soft, but not too soft. Newer hybrid style boots are now available that offer a stiffer inner boot with more support within a soft outer boot.

What about jumping or doing tricks?

  • The riders you see jumping and performing tricks in videos and on television are professional riders.
  • A warning: your child will want to do jumps and tricks too. Don't be surprised if the moment your child gets on a snowboard he develops an uncontrollable urge to jump or "catch air."
  • Make sure your child's instructor is aware of his ability level and, if he is ready to start jumping, can teach proper methods for jumping safely.If your child is going into a snowboard/terrain park, make sure he knows park etiquette:
  1. Do not stop on or below jumps.
  2. Make sure the landing area is clear before jumping
  3. If it is a new jump/feature, ride over it before attempting to jump it
  4. Stay in control.
  • Have your child show you his latest trick. It's good to know what they are attempting when you are not around.

Finding your child's proper stance

  • Because a snowboarder stands sideways on the board, he has to have to decide which foot goes towards the tip of the board, there are two types of stance on a snowboard, depending on which foot is forward: "goofy" and "regular" (No, it doesn't refer to your child's character).
    • A "goofy" rider will place his right foot closest to the tip.
    • A "regular" rider will have his left foot forward.
  • If your child participates in another board sport like skateboarding, wake boarding or riding a push scooter, they can use the same stance. You can also judge proper stance by which foot they usually put forward when sliding on the ice or into home plate.