Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Snowboarding Safety: Tips to Stay Safe on the Slopes

Snowboarding is one of the most thrilling winter sports, but like any extreme sport or activity, accidents and injuries can occur. From little slips to high impact crashes, snowboarding has caused its share of bumps and bruises, but we’re here to help! Our team of experienced snowboarders here at Colorado Ski Shop has put together some useful tips to keep you safe on the slopes while snowboarding!

Knee Protection:

Knees are the body’s “shocks” or “springs” and they absorb most of the impact in snowboarding. Few things are as excruciating as a knee injury, and serious knee injuries can permanent damage so minimize your chance of getting hurt with a pair knee pads. You can even use knee pads made for inline skating!

Other than sturdy protection, knee pads provide compression and warmth which will also help to minimize the chance of injury.

Tailbone Protection:

Typically when snowboarders fall they fall backwards, which means they fall on their lower back and tailbone.

Pick up a sturdy lower back brace with a hard shell exterior and soft inside to ensure support and protection when you snowboard. These back supports will absorb much of the impact of a fall and minimize any pain to you.

Ankle Protection:

Snowboarding places pressure on your ankles and calves, and since feet and ankles are strapped in there is no way to stop a fall by stepping out one foot to catch yourself. Many injuries occur because ankles are turned in or twisted in a fall, or because of a collision with an object.

Adding ankle protection to your snowboarding boots can seriously minimize the frequency and severity of your injuries. We recommend hard shell boots as they provide more ankle support, but beginners typically favor soft shell boots are they are more giving when it comes to movement and balance. Since soft shell boots are just that, they provide little ankle support during falls and collisions.

Head Protection:

Protecting your head while snowboarding is of utmost important so make sure to invest in a sturdy, quality helmet. Sure helmets aren’t exactly stylish or cool, but your mom was right when she told you to wear when one when you got your first bicycle!

Helmets are a non-negotiable. Even just falling into snow can cause serious head injuries, not to mention potential collisions with ice, rocks, trees, other snowboarders, and man-made structures. No matter your level, whether beginner or experienced snowboarder, it is crucial to wear a snowboard helmet. Keep in mind that even at a low speed, slipping and falling with impact to your head can be potentially serious.

Wrist Protection:

Wrist problems are the #1 most common injury for snowboarders, and beginners have 4x the chance of injuring their wrists than more experienced boarders.

When we fall, our instinct is to reach out a hand to catch us and prevent hurting other parts of the body. Since falling is the most common cause of injury in snowboarding, it’s no surprise that wrist injuries are as frequent as they are.

So how to avoid it? When you slip and fall, try not to catch your fall with your hands as this places all the impact on your wrists. Learn to fall on your elbows as they can sustain a much harder impact than wrists. Better yet, try to roll out of a fall as this will distribute the impact over a greater portion of your body.
Protect your wrists with wrist guards. Many ski and snowboarding gloves have built in wrist guard, ensuring both warmth and protection.

Falls are inevitable, pain is not. Remember to wear the necessary snowboarding protection, whether you are a novice or an expert.


Colorado Ski Shop is the online destination for ski and snowboard gear. Find supplies and apparel from LibTech, Salomon, K2 and many more for all your skiing or snowboarding needs. Browse our selection of ski binding, snowboard boots and other accessories to find the right gear for you!

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