Snowboarding is a sport that involves descending a slope that is covered with snow on a snowboard attached to a rider's feet using a special boot set onto mounted binding. The development of snowboarding was inspired by skateboarding, sledding, surfing and skiing. It was developed in the U.S.A. in the 1960s and the 1970s and became a Winter Olympic Sport in 1998.
Like some other winter sports, snowboarding comes with a certain level of risk.
The injury rate for snowboarding is around four to six per thousand persons per day, this is around double the injury rate for alpine skiing. Injuries are more likely amongst beginners, especially those who do not take lessons with professional instructors. A quarter of all injuries occur to first-time riders and half of all injuries occur to those with less than a year of experience. Experienced riders are less likely to suffer injury, but the injuries that do occur tend to be more severe.
Two thirds of injuries occur to the upper body and one third to the lower body. This contrasts with alpine skiing where two thirds of injuries are to the lower body. The most common point of injury is the wrists - 40% of all snowboard injuries are to the wrists and 24% of all snowboard injuries are wrist fractures. This is around 100,000 wrist fractures worldwide among snowboarders each year. For this reason the use of wrist guards, either separate or built into gloves, is very strongly recommended. They are often compulsory in beginner's classes and their use reduces the likelihood of wrist injury by half.