Objective: Survey of a group of snowboarders and study of their injuries, as well as analysis of the risk of injury considering the time spent on the snowboard.
Materials and methods: Of 7,221 students participating in winter sport programs organized by Austrian schools, 2,745 of those riding snowboards were asked to fill out questionnaires pertaining to demographics, their experience level, equipment, snowboard riding habits, and associated injuries.
Results: A total of 2,579 snowboarders (94%), who spent a total of 10,119 days snowboarding, filled out a questionnaire which could be evaluated. A total of 152 snowboarders had suffered a mean of 10.6 injuries per 1,000 days of snowboarding, which required medical care; 5.4/1,000 injuries were moderate or severe. The most common injuries were to the wrist (32%), the hand (20%), and the head (11%). The rate of injury was especially high during the first half-day (roughly 3 hours). Use of wrist protection devices reduced injuries to the wrist from 2 to 0.5% (p = 0.048).
Conclusion: Risk of snowboard related injury was highest in beginners. Through the use of wrist protection devices, the incidence of the most common injuries was dramatically reduced.