The CCA has spent $ 11.9 million in skiing and snowboarding injuries so far this year with 1,018 new claims. Photo / 123RF
Auckland had the highest number of ski and snowboard injury claims of any region in the country that year.
ACC data released to the Herald shows $ 11.9 million has been spent so far this year through June 30, with 1,018 new claims. This comes from the back of the $ 31.7 million spent in 2020, the highest in five years.
In previous years, Otago has had the most ski and snowboard injuries of any region with 5,511 claims in 2020, followed by Canterbury with 2,208 and Manawatū-Whanganui with 1,890. Auckland generally sits in the middle of the list with 1201 last year.
But things look different this season with just 164 new claims at Otago and 219 at Canterbury so far. Auckland currently has the highest with 362 new claims, according to information released under the Official Information Act.
Record the numbers on the ski slopes
With Covid-19 travel restrictions, New Zealanders have hit the ski slopes in record numbers in a tight 2020 season, an ACC spokesperson said.
They said the Queenstown Lakes District ski areas in particular have reported a sharp increase in the number of New Zealanders visiting their resorts, especially during school holidays, when the number of visitors has surpassed certain days in 2019.
The cost of snow sports injuries last year, $ 31.7 million, was the highest in five years; $ 29.4 million was spent in 2019.
In Otago alone, the cost to help people recover from skiing injuries was $ 7.6 million and $ 4.2 million for snowboarding injuries.
In New Zealand, there were 12,539 complaints related to snow sports – 7871 (skiing) and 4668 (snowboarding) – which is slightly lower than the 13,780 complaints accepted in 2019.
Who is most prone to injury?
Data shows skiing is much more likely to cause injury than snowboarding, with nearly double the number of new claims last year.
There were 7,950 new ski injury claims with $ 21.3 million spent and 4,686 for snowboarding, with $ 10.3 million spent.
A total of 1,416 people suffered fractures or dislocations while 440 people made claims for concussions or brain injuries last year. Soft tissue injury is the most common diagnosis.
Knee injuries are the most common among skiers with 119 claims filed in 2020. In total, 751 claims were filed for shoulder injuries – the most common among snowboarders.
Male snowboarders (2,962) suffered 58 percent more injuries than women (1,724) last year.
“Have a Hmmm” before hitting the slopes
Over the past five years, the ACC has spent nearly $ 140 million to help people recover from snow sports injuries.
ACC Injury Prevention Manager Kirsten Malpas encourages all Kiwis to share the trails safely.
“There is nothing better than a weekend with your friends or family in perfect conditions on the mountain,” she says.
“We want everyone to embrace that and enjoy this winter season on the slopes.
“But our claims data shows us that the ski slopes are a place at high risk for injury. We encourage anyone heading up the mountain to take a moment.
“‘Have a Hmmm’ to assess whether your abilities match the level of the trail, and end your day when you start to feel fatigue set in.”
Malpas encouraged all occasional skiers and snowboarders to hit the gym and strengthen their legs to make sure they were ready for the rigors of a day on the slopes.
In April, CCA launched an injury prevention campaign called Preventable. It is based on research which shows that 90 percent of injuries are predictable and therefore preventable.
CCA spends approximately $ 80 million annually on injury prevention.