Five top tips to avoid injury

22nd December 2009, by Chris Gill

(c) Zoe Gillings

(c) Zoe Gillings

Going boarding or skiing for the first time? Here are five tips to help you prepare.


  • Focus on increasing core stability and strength, which will reduce your likelihood of injury in a fall.
  • Increasing cardiovascular fitness should reduce tiredness.

Warming up/down

  • A few minutes spent warming up and stretching at the beginning and the end of the day will be time well spent, with fewer chances of aches at the end of the day.

Fall safely

  • Beginner snowboarders are likely to fall a lot. If falling forwards, try to keep your arms slightly bent and absorb the fall with your forearms – rather than jolting your wrists (a very common boarding injury). In a backwards fall bend your knees to keep lower to the ground, and try to land on your bottom (hence padded shorts are advised!) Keep hunched forward to avoid your head from hitting the ground.

Good kit

  • A helmet can protect from concussion and head injuries. While these injuries are relatively rare, they are the number one cause of death in snowboarders.
  • Wrist guards can help to protect against broken or strained wrists and hard shell boots will protect your ankles from sprains.
  • If you want to go a step further, padded shorts will ease the impact on your backside and more experienced riders may prefer the security of a back protector.

Take it easy

  • Don’t try anything that you’re not ready for: Stunts, jumps and tricks are fun but are also increase the chance of injury. Make sure that you’re well prepared by taking lessons from a qualified snowboard instructor.

With thanks to: Science: [So what? So everything]

Not what you want to bring back from the slopes [Gillings media]

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