Snowboarders get injured from time to time. That’s just goes with the territory since snowboarding is never 100% safe. The problem is what most of us do after we get injured.
1) ‘Being a man’ and ignoring the pain is stupid
There’s a sense among some snowboarders that real men get hurt and keep riding through the pain. Screw that thinking.
Real men get hurt, get treated and get back out there and ride twice as hard. There’s no pride in finding out you’ve given yourself permanent chronic injuries because you refused to get something minor treated before it became a bigger issue.
There’s a big difference between riding through a tiny sprain or bruise and riding through a broken back or riding with a torn ligament. Riding through serious injuries is one sure fire way to make the injury worse and give yourself serious harm.
We’re not some high end X-Games athlete like Danny Way who’s being paid millions to show off our skills to fans even when you’re injured. Rest when rest is needed.
You don’t want to finally get an injury checked and find out you’ve worn away on your bone or tissue and now have to deal with arthritis or a complicated surgery that could have been far simpler.
2) ‘They’ll tell me I can’t snowboard’
Snowboarders hate being told to take some time off to heal or recover. That’s why many will put off a visit to the doctor’s when they sense they have an injury that the doctor will diagnose with the prescription of “take a week off”.
However, think about the alternative. Would you rather rest your sore knee or keep riding for a few days longer and run the risk of tearing your ACL while your muscles are weak and need time to recover?
Putting off rest can mean you get to ride for 1 week longer, but you’re risking your long term ability to snowboard and possibly aggravating an injury that takes you off your snowboard for a even longer.
Look, I know being told you need to rest sucks, but sometimes our body needs to rest. Injuries pile up over a season and sometimes a week or two off to recover can do wonders for your body and your riding.
Think of snowboarding as a long term game
Try to think of your time on the snow in longer terms. Snowboarding is a physically demanding sport, especially when it comes to freestyle and tricks. Do you want to maximise the chance that you’ll be able to snowboard at 60 or 70?
I don’t know about you, but I want to keep snowboarding until I’m old and wrinkly and that’s a huge incentive to make sure any injuries I get are properly treated and that I don’t push my body into stupid situations.
Remember, snowboarding is always an exercise in risk management. You’ll never have 0 percent risk, but snowboarding with an injury that you should be resting skyrockets your risk for more severe injury and hurts your long term ability to keep snowboarding.
Use your judgement. If you think an injury is more serious, get it checked and listen to the doctor. Think of the long term health of your body and how it’ll affect your ability to snowboard in the future, not just short term gain.