Unfortunately snowboarding injuries are common but following these 10 snowboard safety tips you can minimise injury whilst snowboarding.
1. Safety Gear
Did you know that the most common injury to snowboarders is a fracture or a broken wrist? This is because the only way to protect yourself from a fall whilst snowboarding is to put your hands out straight. This usually causes a fracture or something more serious.
What you need is a wrist guard. This will take the brunt of the fall and reduce the possibility of a fracture.
Also impact shorts are another great item of clothing to wear especially for beginners as you’ll spend the first couple of day predominately on your rear behind so protect and give some comfort to this area. You’ll thanks us for this tip trust us!
Always wear a helmet, this we cannot stress enough!
Simply put, wearing a helmet can save your life. Ask Kevin Pearce.
Also Shaun White would without doubt be dead today if it wasn’t for his helmet. Just watch some of his snowboarding crashes on YouTube.
Only one hit on the head can leave you dead. The deaths of Sonny Bono and Michael Kennedy in 1998 brought this issue to the forefront of everyone’s minds. Since then, many countries and ski areas have made great efforts to promote and encourage the use of helmets on the slopes (particularly amongst children). Some have even advocated enforcement by law.
Most recently, the debate was reignited after the tragic death of actress Natasha Richardson (Liam Neeson’s wife) whilst skiing in Canada in March 2009. In April 2009, Vail Resorts announced that from 2009/10, helmet use would be compulsory for all their employees on the snow.
2. Workout Beforehand
Snowboarding is very physically demanding, especially on your upper leg muscles so before going on any snowboarding trip, we recommend you spend some time in the gym working on your core stability and leg muscles.
Muscle pulls and tears are one of the most common of snowboarding injuries, especially with beginner snowboarders. Another way to reduce this is to fully warm up and warm down by doing stretches. We know this isn’t very cool to warm up but trust us, it’s worth it! A hamstring or calf muscle tear will put you out of activity for at least 8 weeks and will certainly will be the end of your snowboarding holiday.
3. Follow Rules and Regulations
It’s often tempting to go out of bounds or take short cuts whilst snowboarding but try to avoid this temptation. Out of bounds areas are cornered off for specific reasons such as dangerous cliffs and rocks so follow the mountain rules and regulations to avoid serious injury.
4. Keep Hydrated!
Dehydration is one of the major causes of injury on the slopes. Don’t be fooled by the cold. Your body is getting a strong workout so you need hydration. For this reason take a day bag that contains fluid or some cash to buy a drink on the mountain.
5. Appropriate Clothing
Don’t underestimate how important the correct clothing is whilst snowboarding. You need to be able to move around freely when all kitted out in snowboarding gear. If you’re unable to move freely then you won’t be able to snowboard efficiently increasing the likelihood of an accident. Make sure to wear body warmers – these are tight fitted clothes to transport the sweat from your body to your outer layers. This one is obvious but we’ll say it anyway – It is essential that your outer layers of clothing are fully waterproof.
6. Rent Snowboarding Gear
The sport of snowboarding isn’t a cheap activity to take part in. As a beginner it’s highly recommended that you hire your snowboard gear. Snowboard hire shops will provide you with the correct size of snowboard and snowboard boots to suit your body dimensions. Your boots must be a very specific fit and if you get this wrong, you’ll end up with very sore feet and risk further injury.
In order to avoid serious injuries, you need to be able to release yourself from the snowboard. Test your bindings every day to make sure they are working correctly. To test, step into your bindings and twist to the side to release the toe piece. You can test your heel by stepping into your bindings and lean forward to release the heel piece. Both the toe and heel should release if properly adjusted.
8. Keeping Clear
Not matter what level of snowboarder you are, there will always be high speed snowboarders around you so if you fall over, make your way to the nearest side to reset yourself. This is especially important on narrow slopes – you should move as soon as you can. Before you set off again you must look up and down to make sure it is safe to carry on.
Before you go snowboarding it’s always helpful to talk to other snowboarders for their advice. You can learn lots from experienced snowboarders. A good place to chat to snowboarders would be on snowboarding forums.
10. Travel Insurance
If you’re on a snowboarding holiday, remember your travel insurance so if the worst happens and you break a leg or arm then hospital expenses will be paid and you won’t be left out of pocket. Finally, keep safe on the slopes and enjoy yourselves!