Snowboarding continues to evolve as a sport, and so do injuries (video)

Snowboarding exhibits high injury rates, at 2-3 times the rates of alpine skiing

The relatively young sport of snowboarding has gained immense popularity during the past 30 years and exhibits high injury rates, at 2-3 times the rates of alpine skiing. Upper extremity injuries are the most common type in snowboarders as a whole. Injury rates in snowboarders remain higher than in skiers. Wrist, shoulder, and ankle injuries are more common among snowboarders, while knee ligament injuries are more common in skiers.

Injuries are different in elite-level snowboarders vs. beginners

Elite-level snowboarders are often injured when performing difficult manoeuvres at high velocities and with amplified levels of force to the lower limbs. Consequently, elite-level snowboarders suffer from injuries that are of higher severity and have decidedly greater lower extremity injury rates. Conversely, injuries to the upper extremities are decreased in the elite snowboarders.

Snowboarding injury patients are 12 years younger than skiing injury patients

At one Rocky Mountains clinic, the mean overall age of injured patients was 32.9 years, 35.4 for skiers and 23.6 for snowboarders. The knee accounted for 43% of all skiing injuries, the shoulder 12%, and the thumb 8%. The wrist accounted for 18% of all snowboarding injuries, the shoulders 14%, and the ankle and knee each 13%.

Beginner snowboarders were more likely to present with wrist injuries compared with intermediate and advanced snowboarders.

At this mountainside clinic, the most frequent ski injuries are to the knee and shoulder, regardless of skill level. Beginning snowboarders most frequently injure their wrists whereas shoulder injuries remain frequent at all skill levels.

Snowboarding continues to evolve as a sport. This includes a steady progression in the degree of difficulty of the manoeuvres conducted by athletes and an increase in the number of snowboarders attempting such manoeuvres.

Olympic athletes break down their signature tricks (video)

Snowboarders and skiers have an extensive vocabulary of spins and flips. Here, Olympic athletes break down their signature tricks (from NYTimes):


Injuries in elite and recreational snowboarders. Br J Sports Med. 2014 Jan;48(1):11-7. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2013-093019. Epub 2013 Nov 26.

Injury patterns in recreational alpine skiing and snowboarding at a mountainside clinic. Wilderness Environ Med. 2013 Dec;24(4):417-21. doi: 10.1016/j.wem.2013.07.002. Epub 2013 Oct 16.

Snowboarding injuries: trends over time and comparisons with alpine skiing injuries. Am J Sports Med. 2012 Apr;40(4):770-6. doi: 10.1177/0363546511433279. Epub 2012 Jan 20.


Sochi Olympics 2014 | Shaun White: Halfpipe Snowboarding | The New York Times - YouTube
Sochi Olympics 2014 | Mark McMorris, Slopestyle Dervish | The New York Times - YouTube

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