Snowboarding is a popular albeit risky sport and terrain park (TP) injuries are more severe than regular slope injuries. TPs contain man-made features that facilitate aerial manoeuvres. The objectives of this study were to determine overall and feature-specific injury rates and the potential risk factors for TP injuries.
Case-control study with exposure estimation, conducted in an Alberta TP during two ski seasons. Cases were snowboarders injured in the TP who presented to ski patrol and/or local emergency departments. Controls were uninjured snowboarders in the same TP. ? Statistics were used to measure the reliability of reported risk factor information. Injury rates were calculated and adjusted logistic regression was used to calculate the feature-specific odds of injury.
Overall, 333 cases and 1261 controls were enrolled. Reliability of risk factor information was ?>0.60 for 21/24 variables. The overall injury rate was 0.75/1000 runs. Rates were highest for jumps and half-pipe (both 2.56/1000 runs) and lowest for rails (0.43/1000 runs) and quarter-pipes (0.24/1000 runs). Compared with rails, there were increased odds of injury for half-pipe (OR 9.63; 95% CI 4.80 to 19.32), jumps (OR 4.29; 95% CI 2.72 to 6.76), mushroom (OR 2.30; 95% CI 1.20 to 4.41) and kickers (OR 1.99; 95% CI 1.27 to 3.12).
Higher feature-specific injury rates and increased odds of injury were associated with features that promote aerial manoeuvres or a large drop to the ground. Further research is required to determine ways to increase snowboarder safety in the TP.
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