A snowboard is a piece of equipment an athlete can use to ride down a snow-covered mountain. This board is attached to the athlete’s feet with special bindings, and he or she then rides down ski slopes or other snow-covered slopes using nothing but the snowboard. It's similar to a surfboard or a skateboard, and serves a similar purpose for the athlete. Unlike skiing, snowboarding does not involve the use of poles.
When purchasing a snowboard, the athlete must consider his or her weight, height, and shoe size. In general, it should be about 1 foot (0.3 m) shorter than the rider. When stood on its tip, the other end should reach to between the athlete’s chin and collarbone. An athlete who is on the heavier side should purchase a wider snowboard, as should an athlete with bigger feet.
The type of snowboarding the athlete performs also has an impact on the size the board should be. Those wishing to freestyle should purchase one that is wider, smaller, and more flexible. They should also wear soft boots when riding.
A snowboard use for slalom or racing, on the other hand, should be long and stiff. The athlete should also wear hard boots when racing. No matter the use of the board, all designs have metal edges and an upturned lip on at least one end.
The snowboard was first invented in the 1970s and was inspired by the design of surfboards. When first invented, the sport of snowboarding was not very respected by skiers, and it was often viewed as a fad. Many resorts refused entry to snowboarders, and ski companies scoffed at companies that made boards. Today, many ski companies are coming out with their own boards and are also borrowing the technology to create new ski designs.
Injuries related to snowboarding are as common as injuries to alpine skiers. Usually, people are most likely to get hurt when they try to perform maneuvers beyond their ability level. The majority of injuries are to the wrist. To prevent injuries, riders should start slowly and wear wrist guards and a helmet.