A U.S. report says that there is a rise in the number of overall injuries when snowboarders are introduced to a new ski area. An example of this is Taos, New Mexico where the overall rate of injuries increased from about 207 per 100,000 visits to the mountain in the 2006 to 2007 winter season, to about 234 injured per 100,000 in the 2009 to 2010 season after the ski area opened its terrain to snowboarders. That is a 13.5 percent increase in injuries.
“If you did that (study) at 10 different mountains, the trend would be the same,” said Robert Johnson, from the University of Vermont College of Medicine in Burlington.
The rise was due mostly to an increase in the kind of upper body injuries that are most common among snowboarders, such as wrist sprains and fractures. Broken wrists jumped from the then most common injury before snowboarders were allowed to the second most common at the end of the study. On the other hand, lower body injuries that are most typical among skiers, such as anterior cruciate ligament or ACL tears, and knee sprains, remained constant.
Also interesting was the fact that the average age of injured people dropped, from 39 years old without snowboarders to 31 with them.