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Your Healthy Family: Spring snowboarding safety

Posted at 10:22 AM, Mar 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-26 13:12:12-04

COLORADO SPRINGS – In this Your Healthy Family, we are talking about snowboarding safety if you plan to hit the slopes this spring.

Dr. Matt Javernick, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist with UCHealth Memorial, says “Springtime is a great time to learn to snowboard because we have warmer days.  Warmer days are nice when you learn to snowboard because you’re going to be on the ground a little bit.  If you’re learning to snowboard, an icy day is not a good day to learn, it’s not worth it. If it’s late in the day and all the snow has been skied off the runs and it’s icy, and you’re still a beginner, consider putting it up for the day, or switching back to skis or just hanging out with friends and family.  That is going to be better opportunity for you.”

The biggest difference between learning to ski and learning to snowboard is the amount of falling involved.

Dr. Javernick says, “Beginning snowboarders have to remember that your feet are fixed to that one board, and you have no poles to help control yourself.  Most of the falls are really quick and they throw you down very rapidly.”

Those rapid falls are usually to the back – which can mean your head is snapped back into the slope – or to the front, which brings your arms and shoulders into play.  Dr. Javernick says a helmet is always a must, skiing or snowboarding.

Also, Dr. Javernick says, when it’s comes to snowboarding, “Wrist fractures are very common and to help prevent that you can wear wrist guards.  Wrist guards may decrease your risk of wrist fracture, but you have to remember all that energy is going to be transferred just above your wrist guard and into your forearm, so a fracture there is also possible.”

In our next story Dr. Javernick will talk about the way most snowboarders suffer more serious injuries – jumping, and explain the safest way to approach jumps.

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