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Snowboarding has continued to grow in popularity and now there are well over 7 million people participating in the sport. Once labelled strictly for the young, snowboarding now attracts folk from a wide variety of age groups (even the crinklies).

"I first had a go on a snowboard a couple of years back when I was skiing Canada with my old pal Scottie. It was just after I had broke one of my skis so we hired some snowboarding equipment for the afternoon. Being complete idiots we decided we didn't need any snowboarding lessons and within the first 5 minutes on the baby slopes I had faceplanted about 10 times (leaving my body impressions all over the place), and poor Scottie took some hard falls and managed to crack some ribs in the process - funny but not nice! His wife wasen't to pleased with either of us. Hmmm... looking back on it I suppose we could have benefitted from a lesson or two."

Todd O'Neill (your editor)

A word of warning

Snowboarding is a dangerous sport and if you are considering becoming involved in the sport we recommend you take lessons from a qualified snowboarding instructor.

If you are snowboarding in powder or away from groomed runs ensure you are part of a group who know what to do in case of an avalanche. Ensure you have beacons, probes, shovels and other safety gear.

Doctor Danger Ratings: 68
Danger (30) 21
Skill (30) 21
Cncentration (10) 7
Fitness (10) 7
Availability (10) 6
Cost (10) 6
Total 68
The above rating is based on beginner/intermediate level snowboarding where riders will be using groomed alpine slopes. Obviously the danger rating will greatly increase if we review freestyle snowboarding where big air jumps and deep powder/avalanche conditions are frequented.