What Are the Dangers of Snowboarding?

What Are the Dangers of Snowboarding?
Snowboarding is a sport that is enjoyed by outdoor enthusiasts around the world. Many travel frequently to find the best snowfall and powder available to snowboard. Some compete professionally in the X-Games or other competitive venues, while many enjoy the sport for fun. Aside from being a physically demanding sport loaded with adrenaline and thrills, it can also be quite dangerous. Knowing which body parts are the most impacted and how to protect them will make each snowboard ride safe.

Heavy Impact

One of the most common injuries that skateboarders encounter is heavy impact. This can be by other people on the slopes or by a standstill object. Whether a snowboarder sees it about to happen or it happens unexpectedly, the results can be devastating. Heavy impact typically involves the entire body being hit at a blunt force. While external injuries do not always occur---internal injuries can. Swelling, bleeding and shifting of bones and organs can be life-threatening. A complete evaluation from medical personnel should always be done if the impact is severe. One way to protect from a heavy impact hit is to always wear safety gear and follow the rules established by the ski resort that is being used.

Head and Upper Body

The head and upper body are often targets of unexpected injuries and hidden dangers. When snowboarding, full body safety is essential. A helmet should be worn at all times---even while practicing. Snow and ice are unpredictable. The effects of a head or neck injury can easily lead to death---very unexpectedly. Any blow to the head, even mild, can lead to internal bleeding. The snowboarder may seem fine and even function normally for several hours after the injury while a broken blood vessel or clot is forming in the brain. Brain death or even sudden stroke can occur without notice. Always use arms and legs to brace a fall rather than the back, head or upper neck.

Knees and Legs

Knees and legs are easy targets of injury when snowboarding. Making sure not to venture out into the backcountry or unmarked ski areas will help reduce all injuries, including knees and legs. Backcountry areas are not monitored or evaluated for safety. Hidden dangers such as drop offs, bushes, trees and avalanche can all occur at a moment's notice. Twists coming off of jumps, sharp angled turns and loss of balance are also common dangers that target the lower body. Wearing proper snowboarding pants, knee pads and snowboarding boots will help deter injuries.


One of the places of the body that receives that most pressure when snowboarding is the ankles. The ankles take a lot of compression and inversion from snowboarding maneuvers. One way to escape the danger and risk of ankle injury is to wear proper footwear. Hard shell boots that do not allow for a lot of bending in the ankle are good choices. They also protect the ankle from outside trauma and blunt force. Hard shell boots also protect snowboarders from getting "snowboarder's ankle," a type of fracture that involves the lateral part of the talus of the foot.

Wrist and Arms

Another hidden danger in snowboarding is when boarders use their wrists and arms to soften a blow (this is called FOOSH, or "fall onto an outstretched hand"). While this is a good way to reduce the risk of internal injury---it can have dangerous side effects. One of the main effects is broken bones. While many boarders feel the wrists should take the blow---the elbow is a much better alternative. A broken elbow will still allow one to be able to use his hands, where a broken wrist will not. Wearing wrist guards will help prevent the wrist from twisting and moving in an unwanted direction.

Article Written By Julie Boehlke

Julie Boehlke is a seasoned copywriter and content creator based in the Great Lakes state. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. Boehlke has more than 10 years of professional writing experience on topics such as health and wellness, green living, gardening, genealogy, finances, relationships, world travel, golf, outdoors and interior decorating. She has also worked in geriatrics and hospice care.

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