Get the right gear for the job. Start with an all-purpose snowboard and soft snowboarding boots, which are easier for beginners than hard boots. Since most snowboarding injuries occur when boarders fall and reach out their arms to stop the fall, you need good wrist guards. You can use guards designed for snowboarding or in-line skating. As a beginning snowboarder, you're unlikely to seriously injure your head, but a good fall can still give you quite a jolt and a headache. You may want to wear a snowboarding helmet to protect against this. This helmet will come in handy later on, if you take up snowboarding off-trail or on more advanced downhill courses.
It's a good idea to get in shape before you take up snowboarding. Your body will be stronger and more flexible, which will help you to cope with the stresses of the sport and protect you from injuries. When you first start, be sure to get a few lessons. Start off on a day with good visibility and calm weather on a gentle hill designed for beginners. As you advance, gradually try more difficult runs. Don't skip to advanced runs even if you think you can handle it, since this increases your chance of hurting yourself.
Techniques for Avoiding Injury
Nearly all snowboarding injuries are the result of falls, so it's important to fall properly. If you do fall, avoid the temptation to stick out your open hands, which can bend back and break your wrists. Some experts recommend snowboarding with closed fists, so that if you do fall, your hands will already be in a safe position. When you fall, try to roll to avoid injury. If you can roll over, you won't take all the force of the fall at the point of impact and are much less likely to get hurt.
Slope Safety and Etiquette
Always follow the rules of the slopes. Some snow resorts allow both snowboarders and skiers to use all the runs, while others have separate slopes for skiing and snowboarding. When you are on a run, stay under control at all times. If you start to overtake someone, you are responsible for passing them safely. Don't ever stop in the middle of a run, since this can cause accidents. If you need to stop for some reason, go off to the side, out of the way of other traffic.