Falling is a natural part of snowboarding for everyone, from beginners just learning the basics to more advanced snowboarders tackling new terrain or trying new tricks. The good news is that regardless of your personal experience with snowboarding or your skill level, you should be fine when you take a tumble as long as you do it properly. Here’s what you need to keep in mind to properly fall when snowboarding, explained by the mountain sports experts from ASO Mammoth, your one-stop shop for Mammoth snowboard rental, high-quality snowboarding gear, safety equipment, and tips for hitting the slopes safely.
Legs Flexed, Body Low to the Ground
This is the general rule to follow with any type of falling on a snowboard. As soon as you feel yourself losing your balance and getting ready to fall to a point where you can’t stop, flex your legs and get your body as low to the ground as possible. What this does is minimize the impact and reduce the risk of serious injuries. There are more specific actions to take based on the direction of your fall.
Forward falls can be especially risky, since you’ll be landing on parts of your body susceptible to fractures and potentially serious injuries. If you feel yourself going forward into a fall when snowboarding, resist the urge to extend your palms prior to impact. This is a common mistake that often contributes to wrist fractures. Instead, properly fall forward on your snowboard by:
• Bending at your knees as you soon as you know you’re going to fall
• Extending your bent arms outward as your knees contact the ground
• Absorbing the rest of the impact with your forearms and abdominal/stomach area
A backward fall can be just as unsettling and potentially risky as a forward-facing one, but it’s still manageable if you fall properly in this direction. First, avoid the temptation to instinctively stick out your arms to absorb the impact of the fall. Falling this way increases the potential to wind up with a broken arm or dislocated shoulder. Once you know a backward fall on your snowboard is likely, properly fall in this direction by:
• Flexing your knees
• Extending your backside as you flex your knees so this is the first part of your body to hit the ground
• Tucking your arms inward to protect your wrists and shoulders
• Keeping your chin pointed toward your knees after you’ve landed to reduce your head injury risk
The Right Gear
Another part of the process of falling properly when snowboarding is making sure you have the right gear. Start with using a snowboard that’s suitable for your body type and skill level. If you’ve outgrown an older board, you can always rent one to get a feel for what’s right for you now. Also with snowboarding gear, stay safe when falling with gear that includes:
• Bindings that still allow sufficient foot and ankle movement
• Comfortable, supportive boots
• A properly sized and adjusted helmet
• Goggles to protect your eyes and allow for optimal visibility
• Warm, moisture-resistant clothing
Snowboarding is a fantastic way to enjoy your time on the slopes, so don’t ruin it by getting injured because you don’t know the proper way to fall safely. The first step is to make sure you start with high-quality equipment that’s fitted properly. ASO Mammoth is your go-to shop for snowboard rental in Mammoth as well as ski gear and safety tips from the snow sports experts. We have everything you need to have a blast, including advice on how to enjoy the slopes safely. Drop in or give us a call at 760-965-3444.