The likelihood of injury
The likelihood of injury is:
- 3.51 per 1,000 skiers skiing
- 5.29 per 1,000 snowboarders
- Age and sex of the injured population (ski and snowboard)
The average age of skiing accidents is about 33 years old and the sex distribution is shown in Figure 1.
The average age of the injured snowboarders is about 22 years old and the sex distribution is shown in Figure 2.
- Evolution of sports specialties over past 16 seasons
- Evolution of injuries from 1992 to 2006
In the Pyrenees, injuries from snowboarding began to appear in the 1995/96 season, and have had a continuous growth up to 2000. Since the 2002 season snowboard injuries have stabilized and other specialties such as skiboarding, telemark and freestyle have become more popular.
Coinciding with snowboard, we have seen how injuries resulting from alpine skiing with conventional skis have been progressively replaced by carving ski injuries.
- Typical Injuries
Knee ligament injuries including ACL, shoulder injuries, skier's thumb and low extremity fractures are typically related to alpine and parabolic skiing.
Wrist fractures, acromio-clavicular injuries and medial colateral ligament injuries are typically related to snowboarding.
Most common injuries
Overall, the most common diagnosis is "contusions" however there are a few individual characteristic injury patterns, such as: lower extremity injury which is typically related to knee ligaments and the upper extremities diagnosis which normally relates to wrist fractures. In the head / face area wounds and scratches are typically the most common diagnosis.
Interestingly, after analyzing the trends over the past 16 consecutive seasons we have seen a decrease in knee and thumb ligament injuries.
We have not observed this decreasing tendency when referring to the Anterior Cruciate Ligament injuries or Fractures in the Tibia (including knee fractures), which has remained stable throughout the years.
Collisions is a separate chapter in both snowboarding and in alpine skiing. It usually accounts for 10% of the total ski resort injuries.
When a collision occurs, it is difficult to differentiate between who receives the collision or who caused it. Our interest lies in studying possible behaviors to prevent collisions. Since the 2000/01 season it has been especially interesting to us to investigate who collides with what.
- Assessing three basic situations between skiing and snowboarding we observed two patterns of collision:
- If a snowboarder crashes, it often occurs against an object (tree, rock, post, etc.).
- If a skier crashes, it usually happens with another skier.
We note that, according to our statistics, we can not corroborate the alleged danger attributed to snowboarding in producing more collisions. No doubt the effect of fear of receiving a collision is perceived much more if the opponent is a snowboarder, but it probably relates to the longer braking time and increased turning radius that characterizes snowboarding.