This is a study of all people presenting to ski patrollers with ski and snowboard injuries during the 1995 season. There were 476 casualties of whom 396 were skiers and 57 were snowboarders. Information was collected retrospectively on the mechanism, region and injury, and also personal details of the casualties. The information was compared with the numbers of ski and snowboard injuries for the 1994 season. Injuries due to snowboarding increased in frequency, from 4 per cent in 1994 to 11 per cent in 1995. Snowboarders were younger, predominantly male, and were more often beginners than were skiers. They most commonly sustained ligament strains, dislocations and fractures, with the hand and forearm and shoulder most affected. Skiers sustained more ligament strains and soft tissue bruising, particularly of the knee and thumb. Snowboarders sustain a different pattern of injuries compared with skiers, and this has important implications for preventing accidents in the instruction of novices.