Winter season is time to head up the steep slopes for skiing or snowboarding. As you glide down over the snow, it’s hard to resist the urge to do stunts. However, keep in mind that these are extreme sports and should, therefore, be performed with caution.
Start by learning snowboarding techniques or learning how to ski.
While snowboarding or skiing is one of the best ways to get your heart pumping and that adrenaline going, a wrong move can result in a ski injury that will put you out of the skiing and snowboarding business for the whole season.
Because of this, make sure that you are wearing proper equipment first and foremost and that you observe proper safety precautions. This is how to prevent ski and snowboarding injuries.
Practice good habits
The only way to develop good habits is to practice good habits. One of the ways you can do this is to evaluate your skis and snowboards before heading out. Make sure that they are in tip-top shape, that they are properly waxed and the edges are sharp.
Learning snowboarding terminology is a good way to begin your snowboarding career.
Also, consider your gear. You should wear a properly fitting helmet and goggles. Also have the right fitting snow boots that are in the right condition and that you are also wearing elbow pads, knee pads, and ankle braces.
If you are a beginner skier or snowboarder, you want to make sure that you take classes from an instructor. They will teach you proper form and how to avoid injuries and risks.
Also, make sure that you are wearing the right clothes. Skiing or snowboarding can expose you to frostbite, hypothermia, sunburn, avalanches and many other risks. Wear sunscreen especially when snowboarding or skiing in the spring and wear appropriate goggles to protect your eyes. Remember that snow is one huge reflector of ultraviolet radiation.
The best ski pants will keep your lower body safe from the cold.
Always observe skiing and snowboarding etiquette. This is outlined in the Alpine Responsibility Code. Make sure that you remain in control and that your judgment is not impaired by substances use such as alcohol. You must be completely able to come to a dead stop when need be.
You need to be fit if you are going to develop your skiing or snowboarding skills. This means doing regular exercise during the offseason to strengthen your muscles. As you train always ensure that you are properly hydrated.
Focus on the main muscles that you are going to use when snowboarding or skiing. These include the glutes, the back muscles, the core muscles, the neck muscles, and the quads.
You can exercise by hitting the gym regularly, cycling and swimming.
Before starting your workout, warm up the muscles by doing light lifts and walking for 5 to 10 minutes. After a workout, you must stretch to prevent the muscles from becoming too stiff. Also, make sure that you provide your body with enough rest so that the muscles heal and develop.
Drink lots of water after the workout to rehydrate.
Also going through the ski and snowboard helmet buying guide will help you pick the best helmet for head protection.
If there is one thing about skiing or snowboarding is that you will fall at some point. It is therefore important that you learn how to fall the best way.
Naturally, when we are tripped, we tend to extend up the hands to protect ourselves from the impact. However, this would only make us hit the ground hard.
Falling with a purpose is learning how to minimize the impact and you can do this by rolling. Learning how to fall the most efficient way will prevent you from straining or getting hurt since the impact is reduced.
They are not called extreme sports for anything. The risks are big and broken bones are all too real. Skiers, in particular, are prone to having knee and thumb injuries. On the other hand, snowboarders are more likely to get the upper body as well as ankle injuries.
A helmet is crucial and both skiers and snowboarders are at risk of head injuries. Also, snowboard goggles will keep the face and eyes safe from the snow, debris, and glare.
Some of the most popular skiing and snowboarding injuries include:
These can be scary but the good thing is that they are also pretty simple to avoid. All you need to do is wear a helmet.
Some skiers or snowboarders believe that they are well trained and are at an advanced level of their game which means that they can go without a helmet. And while this may be true, risks are to be avoided and someone else can collide with you.
A head injury may be anywhere from a minor such as a bruise or major such as a concussion. A hard-enough fall could result in death.
Snowboarders due to the fixed bindings and their stance are at a higher risk of head injuries.
Shoulder, elbow and wrist injuries
Snowboarders are especially at risk of upper-body injuries because their legs are held tight to the snowboard. This means any fall will impact mainly the upper body.
Add in the fact that snowboarders or skiers will tend to flair their hands out during a fall which increases the risks of dislocating a shoulder, fracturing a bone, wrist injuries, scratches and bruises, torn ligaments, shoulder separation, and many more injuries.
To make sure that you do not fall and wear snowboard gloves as well as wrist and elbow guards. Also, when doing a stunt or a jump, it’s important to ensure that the arms are held close to the body.
It is important to learn how to prevent avalanches as well.
One of the most common injuries when skiing is thumb injuries otherwise known as skiers’ thumb. Every one out of 10 ski injuries is a thumb ski injury. It occurs when a skier falls outstretching the hands while stick holding onto the poles.
This causes the thumb to pull back too far resulting in a strained or torn the ulnar collateral ligament.
It is quite easy to prevent the occurrence of a thumb ski injury and you can do this by first wearing the straps of the poles. Also, make sure that you are holding the ski poles the right way.
Your hand should be over the strap but not through the strap. In this way, in case you fall, you are going to release the pole instead of the thumb being trapped.
Some people prefer skiing with poles than with finger groove grips over those that have straps. It doesn’t matter what system is your favorite. It’s important to ensure that you let go of the poles during the fall.
Snowboarders have much softer boots than skiers and this makes them vulnerable to ankle injuries. The talus bone could fracture and they could also sprain the ankle. The earlier is known as the snowboarder’s ankle. Those that perform a lot of different stunts are at the highest risk of getting a snowboarding injury.
Something to always keep in mind is that even if you think that you do not have a fractured talus bone, and your ankle is hurting for more than one week, it’s important to get an X-ray. If left untreated it might cause other longer-term issues so you must do it quickly.
While you may decide to go for harder boots, you must note that it is going to be a trade-off with your knees. Your ankles will be protected but your knees are going to bear the brunt of the weight shifting.
You can however also protect yourself with an ankle brace, improving your balance which you can do with a wobble board or wearing sports insoles.
Knee injuries are more common with skiers since they have hard boots. Their ankles are protected and held still while the knees are going to bear the weight of a fall. They can twist and tear up the anterior cruciate ligament or the medial collateral ligament.
To keep yourself safe, ensure that the ski bindings are adjusted according to your level of skill. Beginner skiers are more likely to fall so the bindings should not be held too tight. Going through the ski boot sizing and fit guide will help you pick the best ski boots.
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As much as snowboarding can be great fun, it needs to be done in the right way to reduce ether chance of coming out with a snowboarding injury. Always take the safety precautions to keep yourself safe from ski injuries as well.
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- How to prevent snowboarding injuries, betterbraces.com