Winter is in full swing, and if you’re like a lot of Minnesotans, you’re itching to get up on a ski hill and do some skiing or snowboarding. Because of the position of your body and the torque you place on your feet when you’re snowboarding, it’s not uncommon for snowboarders to suffer a foot or ankle injury in a fall. However, you can help prevent against foot and ankle injuries while snowboarding if your keep some safety tips in mind. Below, we share five tips for avoiding foot injuries while snowboarding.
Preventing Ankle Injuries While Snowboarding
Here are five ways you can protect your feet and ankles against injury when snowboarding.
1. Find Your Fit – If your snowboarding boots don’t fit right, they can cause problems and lead to foot and ankle injuries. Don’t just assume the boots that fit you last year will fit again this year, and have your boots fitted by a trained boot fitter if you’re renting gear for the day. Too tight of boots can lead to circulation issues and numbness, while too loose of boots can inhibit your ability to navigate safely down the hill.
2. Secure Bindings – Bindings keep your boot in place and help ensure the board turns as you shift your weight. Make sure the bindings are tight around your boot so that they respond to your movements, but also ensure the bindings are secure to the board itself. Sometimes the screws that attach the bindings to the board loosen, which means your foot will shift in place when you try to turn, instead of the board turning. Loose bindings can lead to accidents and injuries.
3. Know Your Limits – Whether you’re an avid snowboarder or just trying to pick up the sport for the first time, know your limits when you’re on the board. Work your way up to more difficult runs, and be aware of the course conditions. Ice can turn an intermediate hill into a double black diamond in no time, so slowly build up to more difficult runs.
4. Take Breaks – You may want to snowboard from sun up to sun down, but twisting and torquing on your board all day takes a huge toll on your feet and ankles. Make sure to factor in some breaks throughout the day so that you don’t overstress your feet. If pain begins to develop, take a longer break or consider calling it for the day.
5. Safe Snowboarding – Finally, the last tip to protect your feet and ankles from injuries is to be aware of your surroundings when you’re snowboarding. You may be the best snowboarder in the world, but you need to pay attention to other people on the slopes. Don’t assume you can fly down trails or over jumps without ensuring you have a clear path ahead. Also, make sure you snowboard sober, as drugs or alcohol can inhibit your reaction time and your ability to snowboard safely.