Like any sport, snowboarding carries a risk of injury. Learn how to minimize it so you can enjoy the ride.
- Step 1: Before you hit the slopes for the first time, take your board to a shop and ask a technician to make sure your bindings are secure. Find boots that fit properly when tightened.
- Step 2: Find a helmet that fits you properly and wear it every time you hit the mountain. Studies have indicated that skiers and boarders who wear helmets reduce their chances of brain injury by up to 60 percent.
- Step 3: If you're new to the sport, enroll in some lessons, not only to learn proper boarding technique, but also to learn how to fall as safely as possible.
- TIP: If you feel like you're falling, avoid putting your hands out in front of you. It seems natural, but falling on your hands can result in a broken wrist.
- Step 4: If you want extra protection while boarding, consider wearing wrist guards. They can help minimize the brunt of unexpected slams.
- Step 5: Watch for other skiers and riders while you're riding, and avoid slower skiers and boarders below you on the hill.
- Step 6: Woodsy terrain is fun, but stay on marked slopes, or go with a guide employed by the resort. If you venture into unmarked territory and get in trouble, you'll have a harder time getting help.
- Step 7: Have a great time, knowing you've taken the right precautions against serious injury.
- FACT: Research shows that even though boarders don't get injured more often than skiers, they're injuries are usually more severe.