Missing out on a great day of skiing or snowboarding due to work or other commitments is painful, but missing out on a day on the hill because of an injury sustained while riding is much more painful and much more serious.
Although you have a great amount of control over danger while skiing and snowboarding, they are still dangerous sports that result in injuries every season. In order to keep your visit to the mountain pain-free, the team at ASO Mammoth has put together a basic guide to ski and snowboard injuries and the best ways to avoid them. Check it out below and research what works for your body and your skill level even more for the safest riding possible!
With both snowboarding and skiing, there is always the chance for sudden stops that result in your body twisting. Whether it’s because of a stop gone wrong or a collision, these sudden stops and twists often occur at the knees which can result in sprained or torn ACLs, PCLs, or meniscus. For example, if a skier falls and is sliding down the mountain, they may use the edge on one of their skis to stop their slide. When they dig in their edge though, the sudden stop paired with the force of the body still moving downhill, often at unusual angles, can cause serious damage to knees.
Snowboard boots are more flexible than ski boots, which means snowboarders are less likely to be injured this way. However, skiers and snowboarders alike can avoid knee injuries by using properly fitted gear that is in good shape. More importantly, knee injuries can be avoided by being aware of hazards on the mountain, including other riders.
While knee injuries may be more of a problem for skiers, both skiers and snowboarders have to deal with injuries to their shoulders and collarbones. These injuries occur after sudden falls result in hard impacts with the ground.
That may sound obvious, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. When most people fall, they tense up and try to stick their arms out to brace their fall with their hands. Not only does this result in hand and wrist injuries, but if your body is tense when it hits the ground the shock could travel straight into a bone like your collarbone or could separate your shoulder. We know that it’s difficult to relax while you’re falling, but if you’re able to refrain from tensing up or sticking your arms out then you could save yourself some pain down the road.
This logic also shows how important it is to stretch and warm up your body before you ski or snowboard. Loose muscles and joints are not only good for riding, but they will protect your bones from hard falls as well. This is why it’s incredibly important that you don’t forget to stretch before you strap in!
Although there is always the chance of hurting your back from falling or simple wear and tear, most people on the mountain hurt their back while attempting a jump and not absorbing the landing properly.
If you’re jumping, make sure you have proper landing technique that takes stress away from your back as well as a clear landing to ensure that you avoid spine injuries while skiing or snowboarding.
Head injuries like concussions occur from falls and can be worsened by high speeds that result in whiplash. Beginners and experts alike should always wear helmets in order to avoid serious head injuries as well as ski and snowboard responsibly at all times!