For most people, the mountains present a foreign, yet uniquely beautiful environment
where snowboard enthusiasts venture to experience the rush of riding down
the slopes and perhaps temporarily escape from the pressures of life.
While you are out snowboarding on the mountains, it's important to understand
the dangers associated with the sport. The nature of snowboarding is such that
there will always be risks involved for beginners and advanced riders alike.
Being aware of the risks involved, however,
and taking the necessary safety measures will minimize the possibility
of any unfortunate accidents occurring, thereby maximizing the time you have
to spend on your favorite sport.
Due to the addictive nature of snowboarding, you may find yourself wanting to
completely squeeze every possible second of the day into getting on as many
runs as possible. If this applies to you, especially if you're a beginner,
it's best if you pace yourself and
take as many breaks as you need to refuel lest
you suffer some unbearable aches and pains later in the evening.
Maintaining Your Energy
Your body works hard to keep you moving especially at higher altitudes.
When your energy levels are completely exhausted, your body becomes fatigued and unable to
generate the necessary heat to keep you warm. When this occurs, you run the risk of
becoming hypothermic which is even more serious than it sounds.
Hypothermia causes people to suffer from slow and irrational behavior while
exhibiting symptoms of dizziness and sleepiness.
In the most serious cases, it may even lead to a complete
shutdown of all bodily functions resulting in death.
But, of course, you'll never have to worry about that as long as you
keep a constant check of your energy reserves and
make sure you replenish your fluids by drinking constantly to prevent dehydration
while keeping your energy levels up with regular food intake.
Safety Equipment and Accessories
The following is a list of items which you should consider using to minimize
the risks associated with snowboarding.
- Wrist Guards. Wrist injuries are the most common of all snowboarding injuries. This is the first
safety item you should get if you're a beginner.
- Sun-screen. To provide protection from the sun and prevent sunburn on sunny days.
- Sunglasses/Goggles. Good-quality eye-wear will provide protection from the sun's ultraviolet rays on sunny days.
- Helmet. To prevent head injuries.
- Padding. If you're not quite confident yet with your skills, wearing some
padding on the knees, elbows and bum area will help to absorb the impact of your falls.
If the unthinkable happens and an accident occurs, first stay calm and do not panic.
Make sure that the
injured person is not left alone at any time and do not attempt to move them unless it is
Place two snowboards or skis in a crossed pattern
in the snow above the victim and stand by to alert other snowboarders and skiers
in the area.
Send a couple of people (from your group or passers-by) to the nearest lift base
and ask the the staff to alert the ski patrol. When the ski patrol arrives,
provide details of the accident, injuries and the exact location of the injured person.
For more information on safety while snowboarding, please see our articles on
How To Dress For Snowboarding,
Finding Your Way Around Resorts,
Tips For Your First Day and