Is Snowboarding Bad for Your Knees?

Snowboarding is a pretty strenuous activity, and it can place extreme forces on your knees. It’s not inherently bad for your knees, but there is a risk of injury ranging from minor sprains to ligament tears. 

I’m a lifelong snowboarder, and I like to get out in the snow as often as possible. I’ve been snowboarding for decades and have yet to have any knee problems. So I know through first-hand experience that it’s not bad for your knees. 

This post will explain why snowboarding isn’t completely bad for your knees. I’ll also explain what the risks of knee injury are and how you can try to avoid them. 

Let’s jump in.

The Dangers of Snowboarding

Snowboarding is a somewhat dangerous activity, and there is no way around that. Every time you strap on your board, you take a risk and head downhill. And people get injured and die every year on the slopes

But that doesn’t mean that you are definitely going to get injured. And it doesn’t mean you will blow out a knee every time you ride. Accidents happen, but they can be avoided if you practice safe snowboarding. 

You always want to ride in control, and don’t try any runs or manuevers that are out of your ability level. When you push yourself too far, accidents become more common, and you are likely to get hurt. 

You also shouldn’t attempt any high-flying manuevers before you are ready. Sometimes it’s hard to fight the urge to go big, but if you are just a beginner, you should stick to the snow and not hit big kickers in the park. 

Snowboarding and Your Knees

Knee and wrist injuries are the most common injuries that snowboarders get. When you fall, the forces of gravity and momentum place a lot of strain on these parts of your body. These injuries can range from mild to severe. 

The most common types of knee injuries that snowboarders get are strains. This can happen when you take a fall and twist or bend your knee the wrong way. It can also occur if you hit a jump and land awkwardly or when you take a bad fall. 

More severe injuries like torn ligaments are also possible. But these injuries are possible in any sort of athletic activity, and they are not any worse in snowboarding. A torn ACL is a bummer, but you’ll be able to snowboard again next season with surgery. 

Nobody wants to get a knee injury, but they do happen. Sometimes you can avoid them, and sometimes you can’t. If you ride safely and do a bit of off-season training, you stand a better chance of preventing a knee injury. 

Strength training is a good way to build the muscles around your knee. This can help you perform better as a snowboarder and also keep your knees better prepared for the demands of the sport. 

If you do get injured, make sure to follow all of the rehab and advice the doctor gives you. The more time you spend resting and recouping, the faster you will be back out on the snow.  


Here are a few quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions relating to whether snowboarding is bad for your knees. 

Is snowboarding harder on knees than skiing? 

Snowboarding isn’t necessarily any harder on your knees than skiing is. There is a risk for a potential knee injury in both of these activities, and you can’t altogether avoid these risks. But if you ride in control, the chance for injury decreases. 

Does snowboarding cause knee injuries? 

Knee injuries are possible while snowboarding, but just because you snowboard does not mean you’ll have an injury. Many factors come into play with knee injuries on the mountain, some of which are unavoidable. 

How do I protect my knees when snowboarding? 

The best way to protect your knees when snowboarding is to always ride within your ability levels and don’t go hard when you are feeling tired. Injuries can happen when you push yourself beyond what you are comfortable doing.


Snowboarding isn’t inherently bad for your knees, but injuries are possible any time you ride. If you ride safely and do some offseason training, you can help reduce the risk of these injuries. 

About Lorraine
I'm a certified snowboard instructor. My first experience with snowboarding occurred at an indoor resort. One run had me hooked, and it has turned into a lifelong passion ever since then. I'm here to share with you some of the tips and advice I have learned along the way.

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