I’ve said before that a lot of snowboarders don’t treat injuries correctly, but another part of being smart about injuries is having some sort of safety net in place for when injuries happen.
No avid snowboarder stays in our sport for a long period of time without any injuries. I haven’t met a single long time snowboarder who has never had a snowboard injury.
So since we can’t avoid injuries, what’s your plan for when these injuries happen? Do you have one? If not, you should.
You NEED health/travel insurance (or a way to get treatment covered). Period.
Look I get it. A lot of snowboarder bums are scraping by and snowboarding is an expensive sport, but if you’re going snowboarding, you need to have a way to cover medical bills that will happen eventually.
Not having health cover is rolling the dice in a sport where you KNOW you’ll get injured eventually.
Either you need to snowboard in a country that will provide you free health cover (NZ has some amazing public health cover), have travel insurance if you’re overseas or you need private health insurance.
I literally never snowboard anywhere without some way to cover my medical bills, especially after my previous knee injury showed me that a 1 min ride in the Whistler ambulance costs a couple hundred $$.
Medical debt sucks. Don’t let it get you.
I don’t ever want to be in any situation where I could possibly end up with thousands of dollars in medical debt because of one crash on the ski slopes and you shouldn’t want that either.
In fact, right now I actually have both travel insurance for this ski season in Canada and private health insurance in my home country.
The interesting thing is I had a minor skin infection on my hand earlier this season and my $350-ish travel insurance is going to end up paying for $700-ish in medical bills, so I’m coming out on top.
I only went to the doctor twice this season, but just those 2 visits and the prescribed medicine came to $700 in bills.
It wasn’t even a snowboard related injury, but this is just one of the many reasons I always have travel insurance when I’m doing a season overseas.
Heck, if I didn’t have travel insurance during my first knee injury I’d have been paying an obscene amount in physio, doctor bills, x-rays, MRI scans and knee braces.
My travel insurance in that case cost less then $500, but they ended up paying for about $5-10k worth of random medical expenses including some of the booking expenses from Camp of Champions which I had to skip that year due to my knee injury.
But I can’t afford insurance (don’t lie!)
I know a lot of snowboarders who say they can’t afford travel insurance or health insurance. That’s a lie for 9 out of 10 of them. They can afford it, but they’d rather spend that money on other things such as partying and alcohol.
The minimum level of health insurance (or travel insurance if you’re overseas) is enough cover for 99% of people, and it doesn’t cost anywhere near as much as the average insurance-less ski bum spends on drinking in a month.
It’s not even like you have to stop partying all together. It’s literally the case of saying, “Okay, I’ll skip one night out” and that’s enough to pay for insurance.
So please, if you snowboard without some sort of health cover or insurance, find a way to get covered.