HOW TO: Avoid Common Snowboarding Injuries

Common Snowboarding Prevention Tips

There are a number of general precautions you can follow to minimise your risk of a skiing or snowboarding injury:

* Fitness
Make sure you're fit to ski. Prepare for your winter sports trip with a conditioning programme to improve core stability and strength. Leg strength and endurance is particularly important to help prevent injury.

* Warming up and cooling down
Warm up and cool down, just like any other sporting activity.
Before you get on the slopes spend a few minutes warming up and stretching to help prepare your body for activity.

* Clothing
Wear appropriate layers of clothing, that don't restrict your movement.

* Wrist Guards
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Snowboarders should wear wrist guards as they significantly reduce the incidence of wrist injuries during falls.

* Crash Helmets
Helmets are effective in reducing the incidence of minor concussions during low velocity collisions.

* Equipment
Don't borrow equipment from friends – it significantly increases your risk of injury.
If you are hiring equipment make sure you hire from a recommended store. Ensure that all the equipment fits properly.

** Note this is for Pole Draggers Not Snowboarders

* Bindings
Use 'multi-mode' release bindings if possible. The superior release available in modern bindings is just one factor that has helped prevent injuries. Rear release boots can significantly reduce the risk of ACL injury.

Self-test your bindings every day. Self testing of bindings is simple. Step into the binding and then twist to the side to release the toe-piece under the control mechanism. The heel can be tested by stepping into the binding and leaning forward, to release the heel-piece. Both the toe and heel should be able to release if properly adjusted.

* Walking in Ski Boots
Don't walk on your ski boots too much. It can affect the fit with the binding and interfere with the release mechanism.

* Ski Poles
Don't put your hands inside the ski pole loop when skiing. This greatly increases the risk of sustaining a 'Skiers thumb' injury in the event of a fall.

* General Conduct
Follow the FIS (Fédération Internationale de Ski) Rules for Conduct in Winter Sports Centres.