Snowboarding rules: 10 simple ways to stay safe

Heading to the slopes this winter? Whether it’s your first time or your fiftieth, there are some key safety rules for snowboarding that every rider should adhere to. Read on to find out how to stay safe while snowboarding.

1. Book an instructor

Many beginners attempt to cruise down the slopes without formal instruction. Booking a session with a professional instructor is far more beneficial than watching a video, and you’ll learn the correct techniques to minimise your risk of accidents.

2. Wear a helmet

When you’re riding at high speeds, a fall or collision can be hazardous, regardless of how soft or powdery the snow may be. Wearing a snowboard helmet reduces the risk of head injuries such as cuts and fractures, and can also keep your head warm.

3. Sun protection

No matter the weather, it’s important to have adequate sun protection on the slopes. Wearing the right snowboarding safety equipment, such as snowboard goggles, can not only protect you from harsh UV rays but ensure that you can still see even when it's raining or snowing. Unlike sunglasses, goggles are secured to your head, and can also protect your eyes from falling tree branches, rocks and other debris.

4. Know your skill level

While it’s good to challenge yourself, it’s important to understand your skill level and stick to appropriate trails. Beginner-friendly slopes vary greatly from those designed for advanced riders, and you can run into trouble quite quickly if you attempt a slope that’s too far beyond your comfort zone. If you’re stuck on a difficult slope, sidestep down slowly with your snowboard on and seek assistance.

5. Stay warm

Ski clothing is not only designed to give you maximum range of movement, but they’re also built to keep you warm in freezing temperatures. Investing in quality apparel, including ski jackets, boots and gloves can have you performing at your best while staying toasty and dry.

6. Use wrist guards

Wrists are prone to fractures and straining while snowboarding as it’s common for riders to use their hands to break a fall. Wrist guards are an inexpensive yet crucial item of snowboard safety gear and can be worn under your snowboarding gloves, although some gloves have wrist guards built in.

7. Don’t go alone

Even if you’re an inexperienced rider, hitting the slopes alone can be a recipe for disaster. Have a buddy with you at all times in case you get lost, veer off track, or run into other mishaps - it’s not always easy to locate help immediately.

8. Keep to marked paths

Never venture into closed areas or outside of the snowboarding boundary. Conditions can change quickly, and while it may be tempting to tackle a track, the snow can be unstable and other hazards may be present that render the area unsafe.

9. Don’t obstruct the trail

Stopping in the middle of a trail poses a risk to other riders. You should never stop in the middle of a trail, especially if there’s a drop-off above you. If you run into an accident or need to stop, make your way to the side as quickly and safely as you can.

10. Always follow signs and rules

Different resorts have different rules. Familiarise yourself with these before tackling any trails, and make sure you adhere to the instructions on signs so you can stay safe while snowboarding.

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