Preventing Injuries with the right gear
Beginner snowboarders spend much of their first day on their backside. Padding to protect bruises on the knees, elbows, and tail bone can be worn. Wrist guards can also help protect from breaks and sprains. Helmets are a must for the high speeds, particularly if you plan on doing any jumps or tricks.
As far as regular snowboarding equipment goes, the nicer boots provide better support to protect the ankles. Most recreational boarders use soft boots which do not offer as much support for the ankles, while racers use hard boots that provide much more security to the ankle but can cause more knee trauma in a fall.
Take a lesson
Even if you are an expert skier, snowboarding requires a different technique. Learning how to snowboard properly will reduce the risk of falling. 25% of all snowboarding injuries occur during a person’s first day.
Stretch your ankles, hips, quads, and hamstrings before putting on your boots. Then warm up with an easier slope than you would normally ride, before moving on to the more advanced terrain.
Train off season
Strengthen your feet and ankles- these muscles are used to help you cut and turn
Strengthen your quads and hamstrings- you spend a lot of time squatting while on the mountain
Strengthen your hips and glutes- they are used to steer
You can find some exercises at Pro-Ride Snowboard Camp
Other safety tips
Make good decisions about the conditions. If they are worse than usual, stick with easier slopes. Stay off runs that have a lot of other snowboarders on them, particularly if you are a beginner and cannot control your direction. Also, avoid areas that have trees or other obstacles until you can control the board with confidence.
Stay safe on the mountain this winter and have fun.