Rotation of the Ankle Joint Complex in Snowboarding

S. Delorme, S. Tavoularis, and M. Lamontagne (Canada)


Snowboarding, kinematics, ankle rotation, ligament.


Because snowboarders are known to injure their ankles more often than alpine skiers, it has been postulated that stiffer snowboard boots would provide better protection to the ankle ligaments than current soft boots do. To test this hypothesis, we have mapped the kinematics of the feet and lower legs of five snowboarders wearing soft boots and stiffer step-in boots using an electromagnetic motion tracking system. The results were expressed in anatomically relevant rotations of the ankle joint complex, namely dorsi-/plantar flexion, e-/inversion and ad /abduction. The measured ankle rotations show differences in the movement patterns of the front and back legs. The observed high adduction levels are attributed to improper binding adjustment. Step-in boots were shown to allow less dorsiflexion, inversion and adduction than softer boots.

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