Who is Most at Risk for a Snowboard Wrist Injury?
There are quite a few published studies regarding the frequency, type, and prevention methods of snowboard wrist injuries. If you are so inclined, you can spend hours researching risk factors and determining if you or your family fall into what is considered "higher risk" for a wrist injury. Or, if you want a summary that helps you manage risk and move on with your life, read on...
Risk Factors for Snowboard Wrist Injury
So what makes one more likely to suffer a snowboard wrist injury? Here's some data that can help you assess your own or your kids' risk:
- 20% of adult snowboard injuries are to the wrist
- 38% of children and adolescent snowboard injuries are to the wrist
- 72% of all wrist injuries occurred in the first 7 days of snowboarding
According to Dickson et al, the most significant risk factors are:
- age less than 16
- being on vacation
- being a beginner snowboarder
So clearly being young and new to snowboarding are significant risk factors. If you and your kids are heading out on a ski / snowboard vacation, you should take this risk seriously. However, even self described "intermediate" level snowboarders still account for a large proportion of wrist injuries. If you or your kids are more advanced snowboarders, don't get complacent as skills improve. Chances are, as you get better, you're going faster and getting more aggressive in the terrain park!
How to Reduce Risk of Wrist Injury
The bad news....you can't fake age and you can't fake experience. Those factors are simply a given and not controllable. But, what can you do to reduce your risk of snowboard wrist injury? Here's things that you can control:
- Wear wrist protection. Snowboard wrist guards are proven effective in reducing wrist injuries.
- Choose proven wrist guards. Select wrist guard designs that have evidence of improved efficacy in reducing injuries. Some are better than others - choose wisely.
- Wear gloves with integrated wrist guards. Especially with younger and newer snowboarders, having wrist protection built into their snowboard gloves makes it both comfortable and easy to ensure compliance. Having an integrated glove/guard system also eases the burden of matching guards to gloves and ensuring all pieces are present and work effectively together.
- Snowboard within your abilities. Of course, you have to know what your own safe limits are, and stay within them.
- Learn how to fall. There are definitely techniques you can learn and practice that will help reduce the risk of wrist injuries.
- Snowboarding can cause wrist injuries
- Risk factors are both controllable and non-controllable
- Many wrist injuries can be prevented
- Wrist guards are effective at reducing snowboard wrist injuries
- Wearing wrist guards does not have to be uncomfortable
- Certain wrist guards are proven more effective and easier to wear
- Don't wait until you - or your kids - get hurt to wear wrist protection
More info on Different Types of Wrist Guards
If you'd like to read more about the different types of snowboard wrist guards, see our blog Different Snowboard Wrist Guards, and Which One is Best for You.
Ready to Outfit Yourself and Your Family?
Shop our collection of LEVEL snowboard gloves with wrist guards.
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