Learning How to Fall: Snowboarding

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While many debate the benefits and disadvantages of snowboarding and skiing, there is one truth almost universally accepted: Snowboarders fall more frequently than skiers. This has nothing to do with personal skill is the difficulty of the sport. If skiers feel themselves losing control, they can easily adjust by changing the position of their leg. Unfortunately, if a snowboarder catches an edge, there is little they can do to correct the position. In most cases, this will result in some type of crash. As a result, it is essential for all beginner, intermediate, and advanced snowboarders to learn how to fall. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you back on your feet.  

When snowboarding, you will likely fall in one of two directions: forward or backward. In both situations, you should keep your arms in and in a flexed position—not extended and rigid. Attempting to break the fall with your arms could result in serious injury.   

While falling forward, first allow yourself to fall on your knees, then land on your forearms. This is the best way to avoid injury; you will evenly distribute the weight and pressure created by the fall, which will result in less acute pain and injury. While falling backward, flex your knees, which will bend your body to allow your butt to hit the ground first. Land on your butt, keep your chin tucked in, and roll backwards to avoid hitting your head. In every case, keep your arms in to avoid injury to the wrist and shoulders.   

As always, the best way to keep yourself safe on the board is to ski in terrain that is appropriate for your ability level. If you want to challenge yourself in new terrain, consider investing in wrist guards, and always remember to wear a helmet. However, accidents are bound to occur regardless of terrain and skill. When that happens, rely on these techniques to get up safely.