The efficacy of wrist protectors in preventing snowboarding injuries

Am J Sports Med. 2001 Sep-Oct;29(5):581-5. doi: 10.1177/03635465010290051001.


Injuries of the wrist are common among snowboarders and in-line skaters. Wrist protectors have been developed to protect against injury. Some studies support the use of such wrist protection, but others emphasize the fact that wrist protectors may transfer the injury to other locations in the forearm. We conducted a prospective, randomized, clinical study of 5,029 snowboarders, 2,515 in a braced group and 2,514 in a control group. The primary endpoint was fracture or sprain of the wrist with loss of range of motion and pain of at least a 3-day duration. Concomitant injuries were also recorded. Eight wrist injuries occurred in the braced group and 29 occurred in the control group. This was a significant difference. Beginners (first 5 days on a snowboard) and snowboarders with rented equipment were more prone to injury than others. No injuries could be related to the use of the wrist brace. We conclude that wrist braces are effective in protecting snowboarders against wrist injury. Beginners are a high-risk group.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Protective Devices*
  • Skiing / injuries*
  • Wrist Injuries / prevention & control*