Snowboarding: Growth in Popularity, Injuries

It won’t be long before ski resorts and area hills are snow covered and alive with skiers and snowboarders. According to the SnowSports Industries America’s 2019-2020 participation study, 25.1 million Americans ages 6 and older participated in winter sports in the 2019-2020 up 1.9 percent from recorded in the 2018-2019. Of those winter enthusiasts, approximately 7.9 million were snowboarders and 14.3 million were skiers. Despite the higher number of skiers, the study reported a decline of 3.6 percent in skier participation compared to a 1.1 percent increase in snowboarding. Although that may not seem like much, snowboarding participation grew 9.4 percent the year prior while skiing increased 1.1 percent. One reason cited for the increase is participant age. The largest segment of skiers are between the ages of 45-54 (19 percent) compared to snowboarders who are 25-34 years old (23 percent).

Another difference between the sports is the type of injuries sustained by participants. Snowboarders, according to National Ski Areas Association, (NSAA) research, are more likely to suffer ankle and head injuries while skiers most commonly suffered knee ligament injuries. The growing popularity of snowboarding and the unfortunate death recently of freestyle legend Marco Grilc while exploring the terrain of an Austrian ski resort serve as an important reminder about injury prevention. Click for more in-depth coverage about specific causes of snowboarding injuries. Understanding the causes may help you avoid an injury in the future.





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