Snowboarding is often labelled as an extreme sport, and as such has developed a reputation as something which is potentially dangerous and a disruptive influence at winter sport resorts throughout the U.S. and Europe. The truth is far less extreme however, and the fact remains that if performed responsibly snow boarding can a great activity to do in almost any circumstance. From a Stag Do or Hen weekend to an exhilarating and enjoyable past time for the young and old alike. What is crucial is that you pay attention to certain specific details while you are learning and perfecting your craft, and avoiding actions which can endanger the safety of yourself and those around you.
The Do’s of Off Piece Snowboarding: How to Be a Responsible Boarder
As with any activity that carries the risk of injury, the key to staying safe lies in your preparation. It is not a commonly recognized fact that it is your arms and hands which are most susceptible to injury while you board, with 60% of all recorded snowboarding accidents resulting in damaged wrists and forearms. So procuring the relevant safety equipment is a necessity, with wrist guards and helmets the 2 most crucial items of equipment to invest in. These more than repay their cost even if you never have an accident, as they afford you peace of mind and allow you to learn and board without fear.
This level of preparation is also key in shaping other good practices when it comes to boarding. For instance you should always match your skill level to the slope that you choose to practice on, so research each resort and decide whether the terrain suits your experience level and strengths as a boarder. If you do find that one is too challenging, then either slow your pace or stop completely. The same principle applies to fatigue while boarding, as physical or mental tiredness will result in poor judgement and errors. As much as you have protected your body, take care to listen to it and take a break when it tells you it is struggling.
The Dont’s of Off Piece Snowboarding: The Art of Learning Your Limits and the Craft
Like any activity that requires skill and dexterity, becoming a capable snowboarder is founded on the art of learning. Not only must you understand your own abilities and the positioning of those around you, but you must also comprehend the intricacies of how to fall and adapt in the case of incident. For example, when a board does go awry, breaking your fall with an outstretched arm can lead to serious wrist injury or even a broken collar-bone in the worst instance. Avoid this at all costs, as regardless of the level of protection afforded by your equipment the impact can still have grave consequences.
Avoid allowing the carefree nature and exhilaration of snow boarding to cloud your judgement. Flying through the air and performing spectacular landings is all well and good, but not if your leaps are too ambitious or you have not checked the landing zone properly. You cannot afford to perform jumps over 2 feet or change position in the air unless you are experienced, so avoid this until you have learned the craft rigorously. Similarly do not select a landing area without checking it for loose rocks or potential obstacles, especially if it is busy and crowded with other people and boarders.
The Bottom Line
Essentially snow boarding can be a fun and adventurous activity, so long as you act responsibly and take the time to learn about the art itself. Protecting yourself physically is also crucial, as this ensures that no serious damage can be done even when you lose focus and take a tumble from your board. Becoming carried away by the excitement or failing to recognize the potential hazards around you are all preludes to disaster, so do not be afraid to be cautious in your approach and ensure that snowboarding remains the care free past time that it is intended to be.
Wrriten by Annabel, Event organiser for Chillisauce.