I definitely want to try snowboarding, because at my age you don't just hop into a new sport (I haven't been skiing in so long it would be a new sport at this point), and snowboarding seems safer than skiing. But is it?
Here's what I found:
From Snowboarding Essentials :
Skiing and snowboarding are alike in that they are both downhill and are both the source of countless hours of fun and exhilaration Some of the differences, however, that you'll find between them include:
Statistics On Skiing/Snowboarding (from the National Ski Areas Asscociation ):
Fatalities - According to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA): During the past 10 years, about 40.6 people have died skiing/snowboarding per year on average. During the 2009/10 season, 38 fatalities occurred out of the 59.8 million skier/snowboarder days reported for the season. Twenty-five of the fatalities were skiers (18 male, 7 female) and 13 of the fatalities were snowboarders, (12 male, 1 female). Among the fatalities, 19 of those involved were reported as wearing a helmet at the time of the incident. The rate of fatality converts to .64 per million skier/snowboarder visits.
Serious Injuries - Serious injuries (paralysis, serious head, and other serious injuries) occur at the rate of about 43 per year, according to the NSAA. In the 2009/10 season, there were 39 serious injuries. Sixteen of these serious injuries were skiers (11 male, 5 female) and 23 were snowboarders, (16 male, 7 female). Among the serious injuries, 18 of those involved were reported as wearing a helmet at the time of the incident. The rate of serious injury in 2009/10 was .65 per million skier/snowboarder visits.
Since I classify myself primarily as a runner, I'd opt for a wrist injury over a knee injury, as I can run with a cast on my hand, but can't with a bum knee. The statistic that most stood out to me, however, is that 50% of the fatalities and a similar number of those seriously injured were wearing helmets. 50/50 odds don't seem to show much benefit to wearing a helmet.
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