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Am J Sports Med. 2005 Mar;33(3):370-7.

Injuries among competitive snowboarders at the national elite level.

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Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center, University of Sport & Physical Education, Oslo, Norway.



Little is known about injury risk or the pattern of injuries among competitive snowboarders.


To describe the incidence and pattern of injuries among female and male snowboard athletes at the highest national level.


Descriptive epidemiology study.


This study consists of 2 parts: prospective registration of injuries at snowboarding national cup events and the national championships during the 2002 season, as well as a retrospective interview of the participants during the national championships in March 2002. All injuries that resulted in missed participation were recorded. Exposure was recorded as the number of runs in all disciplines.


In the prospective study, the competition incidence was 4.0 +/- 0.7 injuries per 1000 runs (n = 32 injuries). Back (22%), knee (16%), and hand/wrist injuries (9%) were the most common. The incidence for the different disciplines was 14.2 +/- 5.3 per 1000 runs for big jump, 6.1 +/- 1.8 for snowboardcross, 3.1 +/- 0.9 for halfpipe, and 1.9 +/- 1.9 for giant slalom. The retrospective interview (n = 163 athletes, 83% response) revealed 84 acute time-loss injuries during the season; knee (16%), back (13%), head (13%), and hand/wrist injuries (12%) were the 4 most common injury types. The overall competition incidence was 3.4 +/- 0.6 injuries per 1000 runs (6.6 +/- 3.0 for big jump, 5.8 +/- 1.7 for snowboardcross, 2.1 +/- 0.7 for halfpipe, and 6.6 +/- 4.7 for giant slalom). No injury was recorded in parallel slalom in either study.


The incidence of injuries is high among competitive snowboarders at the elite national level. The injury pattern is different from the panorama seen among less experienced athletes, with fewer wrist injuries and more knee injuries.

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