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post #1 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-12-2014, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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Should I return to snowboarding after dislocation

I took up snowboarding very tentatively aged 37. After a lot of hit and miss and LOTS of falls, I finally passed my lessons and was able to go on the main slopes at the indoor centres. After that I spent 3 days in Scotland where I got a little better and then last year I went to Austria for a week.

In Austria the difficulty was too high for me and unfortunately I dislocated my shoulder. This was in march '13 so over a year ago now. I'd say my shoulder is at about 95%, physios said I may never get the full movement back.

The injury was the worst I'd ever had (I've also injured my neck & sprained my wrist boarding and had a few karate injuries) and it put me off. I swore I'd never do it again...

But I miss it. I really suck at it and being on the slopes that were too steep for me was not fun but I enjoyed scotland, the beginner slopes. I want to try again but I'm really scared and I'm doubly scared that my fear itself may actually cause me to be too stiff (which was always a bit of a problem of mine anyway) and just fall more and cause further injury.

I'm thinking of starting over, taking lessons again from level 1 so I could just ease into it without pressure.

I've read lots of posts on these forums from other people who have dislocated shoulders and they seem almost minor? Like it just pops out every time they go boarding as if it's nothing! I was in agony, it took months to heal and I would never want to injure myself like that again!

But my doctor did say that my age (42 now) could actually be an advantage as when you get older you are less elastic and a dislocation is less likely. But he also said that once you've done it once you're more likely to do it again.

Another thing that scares me is that I did not do it on a steep section of the mountain. I had actually cleared the run and then just as I was heading towards the lift, I think I just caught an edge on the flat part of the slope and went over. If I can dislocate my shoulder on the flat bit of slope, then there's always that risk isn't there?

I'm not sure what to do. I don't want to just live in fear my whole life and there really was nothing quite like the feeling of actually boarding in those moments when I did it semi-well :-)

Any advice much appreciated!
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post #2 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-12-2014, 10:51 AM
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it depends on how much you want it.
also learning how to fall helps too.
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post #3 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-12-2014, 10:56 AM
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You should avoid stairs as well as you may trip, tumble down them, and dislocate a shoulder.

Joking aside, of course you should continue if you miss it. In the scheme of things a dislocated shoulder is far from the end of the world in the vast majority of cases. I'm 43 and just started last year.

I'm assuming you wear a helmet. Your head isn't the only place you can protect. They sell all sorts of armor to help cushion the blow, most seem to be inspired by motorcross. It really doesn't take a whole lot to greatly reduce the impact. I wouldn't let not having it stop you, but it'll boost your confidence and get you back out and give you some peace of mind.
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post #4 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-12-2014, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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Yes I wear a helmet. I also experimented with wrist guards but had trouble with those as they dug into my hands and I found it hard to undo bindings etc so may have to look into some alternatives if I start again.

I just wish I could let go of the fear - I think that's my biggest problem. But I don't have any fear of a level 1 lesson which is why I would start there.

Of course I know that I can never really prevent injury, it's always going to be a risk but as you say, people do injure themselves on stairs and other stupid things! And I don't want to be like that any more. I quit karate too and I miss that too. Just feeling a bit old and boring now and just want to get back into the things I enjoy without being such a wuss lol!
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post #5 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-12-2014, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by cmiddlebrook View Post
Yes I wear a helmet. I also experimented with wrist guards but had trouble with those as they dug into my hands and I found it hard to undo bindings etc so may have to look into some alternatives if I start again.

I just wish I could let go of the fear - I think that's my biggest problem. But I don't have any fear of a level 1 lesson which is why I would start there.

Of course I know that I can never really prevent injury, it's always going to be a risk but as you say, people do injure themselves on stairs and other stupid things! And I don't want to be like that any more. I quit karate too and I miss that too. Just feeling a bit old and boring now and just want to get back into the things I enjoy without being such a wuss lol!
I see you are a new poster, not sure if you have lurked much, I'll assume not. Around here at least for the guys our age and above we are affectionately known as "gummers". Spend a little time here and you'll soon see you are nowhere near getting too old. I came here as a skier looking for advice for my son who had just started and assumed I was too old to make the transition. It took about a week of reading from the older crowd on here before I decided screw that, I'm going to try. Now I'm counting the days until December to go again.
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post #6 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-12-2014, 11:13 AM
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For me using a reverse camber board helped me on balancing the board at first. Perhaps you may want to try this as it will be much harder to catch an edge. As you progress you will find that you want more camber though, well for me at least.

Don't let fear get in the way. Sometimes you have just have to say "Fuck it" and just go. I started out at 35 and have been riding for 2 season now.
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post #7 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-12-2014, 11:14 AM
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what kind of board were you riding?

The type of board helps in the riding.
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post #8 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-12-2014, 11:18 AM
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there's a few boards out there that make it very hard to catch an edge. I'm thinking anything Bataleon/Lobster TBT or Rome Nohang-Ups but I'm sure there are others. you might want to give those a try.

also, you were probably trying the wrong wristguards or the wrong size.

and yeah, everybody falls on a snowboard, even people who are really good at it. riding just to NOT fall is a bad idea and doesn't sound like a lot of fun. just learn how to fall properly and get proper protection. and everytime you fall make a snow angel or something to get some smiles out of it
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post #9 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-12-2014, 11:28 AM
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Keep taking lessons. You will eventually get more confident. When you go to other mountains take lessons too. You gave get advanced lessons once you feel more confident. Assuming you can afford it.
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post #10 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-12-2014, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 24WERD View Post
what kind of board were you riding?

The type of board helps in the riding.
I've only ever used the standard hire equipment which is at the right size for my height but other than that I don't think there's any variation. I never got around to buying my own gear as I never did it very seriously.

I'm not bothered about general falls. A snowboard session without a few bruises would just seem a bit wrong lol. It's not falling itself that worries me - just actual serious injuries. I've managed to have some pretty spectacular falls that were hilarious and not at all painful but this shoulder one really put me off!

I don't recall being taught to fall but if I take lessons again I'll ask. Though very often I find that certain falls (like the last one) happen so fast that I don't even know they're happening and I'm not sure I'd have the reactions to fall in the correct way.

Good to know there are other older folks doing it and no I hadn't seen the term 'gummers' heh :-)
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