Are you one of those who are too excited when the autumn season comes to an end because winter now awaits? We cannot deny that this season is one of the most enjoyable and exciting ones where it’s a great time to bond with friends and families.
One of the most popular recreational activities during winter is snowboarding! However, these winter leisure activities are the second foremost cause of sports-related injury and hospitalizations.
So if you are a fan, whether beginner or expert of snowboarding, you must take the necessary precautions and protections. Continue reading to learn the safety tips to be followed during Snowboarding!
Fast Facts about Snowboarding
Snowboarding originated in the United States in the 1960s and was included in Winter Olympic Sport in 1998. Sherman Poppen, an engineer who invented a toy for his daughter, soon became snowboarding equipment for riders.
Snowboarding is a winter sport that involves sliding on a snow-covered slope using a snowboard attached to both feet. The riders use special boots that are fastened to the snowboard.
Snowboarding Injury and Accident Statistics
According to the numbers reported by National Ski Areas Association (from 2015 to 2015), the average catastrophic injuries and fatalities are 50 and 38 respectively at United States Ski resorts making it 88 % and 67 % of catastrophic injuries and fatalities per million snowboarders for every visit.
Moreover, the statistics had shown that head injuries (about 20 %) are more common in skiing and snowboarding accidents. Most head accidents occur when skiers or snowboarders hit an object such as a tree or the ground. Severe head injuries are reported as a loss of consciousness, concussions, or brain damage. It was found out that severe head injuries are the leading cause of death to skiers and snowboarders. (Johns Hopkins Medicine)
What are the safety tips to remember and to be followed by riders during Snowboarding?
Injuries and accidents may lessen and avoid with proper information and awareness of every rider. Follow the safety tips to learn how to stay safe on the slopes.
• Wearing protective gear and equipment
One of the essential gears and equipment that you should have is the helmet. Wearing helmets can ominously lessen the risk of head injuries such as skull ruptures and hemorrhages in the brain.
Currently, there are no laws or provisions in the United States that order the compulsory use of helmets among snowboarders. But the good news is although there were no mandating rules, using of helmets across the United States continues to rise. Moreover, during the 2009-2010 ski Olympics, using helmets has been doubled compared to the 2002-2003 ski season. It only shows that snowboarders are more disciplined and careful.
Other than a helmet, it is also imperative to wear elbow and knee pads, wrist guards (for snowboarders), fitted boots and bindings, and goggles that are precisely fitted with your body. Having a complete set of protective gears and equipment may reduce the possibility of the severity of accidents.
• Attend lessons of snowboarding from a certified instructor
Having proper lessons about snowboarding can significantly increase the possibility that accidents can be avoided. Taking a snowboarding lesson will make you aware of the dos and don’ts of snowboarding.
As a matter of fact, medical studies have revealed that having formal instruction for first-time skiers and snowboarders greatly benefits their safety.
• Snowboarders should wear warm clothing.
Wearing inappropriate clothing during snowboarding may lead to hypothermia- occurs when your body drops the temperature due to the prolonged exposure to a cold area. That’s why every snowboard rider needs to wear proper clothes. Warm clothing will help maintain your body’s temperature. Moreover, your clothes should not be so fitted so that you can move freely and comfortably.
These are the list of clothes that you can wear to avoid hypothermia.”
- Synthetic fabric underwear
- Socks that may reach your legs
- Sweaters with intermediate layers
- Waterproof pants
- Neck gaiter
Follow the rules and regulations.
Snowboarding has sets of rules and regulations (Alpine Responsibility code). It is a set of guidelines that aim to prevent injuries and accidents all over the world. As a snowboarder, you must follow these protocols to avoid future accidents or tragedies. Moreover, you should pay attention to warning signs such as slow skiing areas and cautions. Following guidelines in any sport is an attitude of a good sport. Snowboarding does not only require skill but also, most importantly, is that you must possess discipline.
• Be a responsible snowboard rider.
Practicing the proper etiquette in snowboarding can significantly increase the safety of everyone. During snowboarding, riders ahead don’t see their backs. That’s why you should be reminded that if you pass other riders on a narrow trail, you can yell out “On your left” or “On your right” for them to be aware that you’re coming up behind them. Also, it would be best if you never stopped in the middle of a trail or in any place where you can’t be seen, such as below a drop-off.
• Board on the slope that you can
Snowboarding offers different terrain depending on the skills you have. Ski trails have green circles for beginner’s terrain, blue squares for intermediate terrain, and black diamonds for advanced terrain—snowboard based on your capacity and ability. Every skilled and expert rider starts with beginner’ terrain, don’t take a hurry. There’s a time for everything. Make sure you already master beginner’s terrain before moving to a harder one.
• Do warm-ups.
According to Vivian Eisenstadt (Orthopedic physical therapist), cold weather may result in tightening and contracting of muscles which can lead to soreness and discomfort. That’s why conducting warm-ups and exercise are essential before skiing or snowboarding. In this way, your body will be in the proper condition.
Snowboarding is one of the exciting and thrilling sports! No wonder many people try it. But it is very imperative that you know the preventive measures to reduce accidents and injuries. Prevention is better than cure! Experience safe and comfortable snowboarding with Rocky Mountain SnowMobile products.