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Keep safety in mind when snowboarding

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It’s always a good idea to keep safety in mind when skiing or snowboarding. No one wants to get hurt, regardless if it is a minor or major injury.

Robert Cabry, a team physician for the U.S. Figure Skating, Association, has some safety tips for snowboarders

Keep in mind that more than half of all snowboarding injuries occur with beginners, especially their first time out.

When you snowboard, your feet are fixed into non-release snowboard bindings and the board is narrow, so falls are going to happen, especially for the novice. The majority of snowboarding injuries involve the upper extremity and ankle, but serious injuries are rare.

The most common injury occurs to the wrist. This is because as the snowboarder loses balance and falls on an outstretched hand. This leads to sprains and even fractures. A better way to fall would be to land on the elbows – at least they can take more impact than the wrist and hand.

Ankle most common snowboard injury
Ankle injuries are the next most common and usually occur with a crash, especially after a jump which combines impact with a twist. These common injuries occur more often in experienced snowboarders because they take more risk.

The injury rate has decreased with the use of the hard shell boot. Although the ankle injuries are decreased, the stiffer boot can lead to more knee injuries. The good news is that knee injuries in snowboarders are less common and much less severe than in skiers. The beginner should stick to the softer boot, which will allow for more control of the board.

Conditioning very important
Snowboarding is a sport, and like other sports, we need to be prepared and properly conditioned. Snowboarding requires core strength and balance, so it’s important to focus on this when working out at the gym. Leg strength and aerobic conditioning will also reduce the risk of injury.

Before hitting the slopes, warm up those muscles so they will better handle the impact. Although wrist guards might not look cool, they might just save you from serious injury. There are 100,000 wrist fractures a year among snowboarders.

Wear a helmet
Helmets are also critical equipment for the snowboarder. Crashes, collisions and loss of balance can all cause serious head injury. Protect the skull and protect the brain. Wear your helmet at all times when boarding.

The lesson here: use some caution and be aware of safety. Riding the can be great fun, so don’t let it be cut short. Be smart, be prepared and enjoy.