I had 2 herniated discs in my lower back (L5 S1, L4 S1) the pain was so bad I had to quit snowboarding this was about 5 years ago. Had microdiscectomy surgery to fix the issue. This was my first year back snowboarding and I've probably gone about 12 times without any pain at all and after taking a few spills off kickers.
Surgery helped a TON!! but I was afraid to go for a long time afterwards thinking I would damage something.