SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1997

Epidemiology of Snowboarding Injuries: 1988 to 1995


Between 1988 and 1995 (seven years, or ski seasons) the authors evaluated ski patrol reports of 15 323 downhill skiing injuries and 3696 snowboard skiing injuries that happened during 3 476 515 and 617 081 skier visits (SV), respectively, at two medium-sized ski areas on the west coast of the United States. This resulted in overall, patrol-based, injury rates of 227 and 167 mean days between injury (MDBI) rates for downhill and snowboard skiing, respectively. During the seven seasons, the incidence of snowboard skiing has increased from 4.2% of all skier visits in the first year (1988/1989) to 36.7% in the final season (1994/1995). The overall rate of injury to snowboard skiing participants was 36% higher than alpine skiing. In most respects, the injury patterns of snowboard skiing are significantly different from alpine skiing. Snowboard skiing had a lower rate of lower leg and knee injuries than alpine skiing. Snowboard skiing had a higher percentage of wrist and ankle injuries than alpine skiing. In snowboard skiing, males had a higher percentage (percent of all reported injuries) of ankle and lower leg injuries, while females had a higher percentage of wrist and knee injuries. The incidence (MDBI) of lower leg, ankle, and knee injuries in snowboard skiing improved over the period of the study, while there was not significant change in me wrist rate.

Author Information

Shealy, JE
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
Ettlinger, CF
Vermont Ski Safety Equipment, Inc., Underhill, VT
Buonomox, V
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
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Developed by Committee: F27
Pages: 49–59
DOI: 10.1520/STP18288S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5354-7
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2472-1