PURPOSE: Few studies have been done for spinal injuries after skiing and snowboarding accidents. Assuming that the riding patterns of skiing and snowboarding were different, we analyzed the differences between the mechanisms, diagnoses and levels of spinal injuries caused by them. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of spinal hazards associated with skiing and snowboarding in order to educate skiers and snowboarders. METHODS: We conducted a prospective study of 96 patients who had sustained spinal injuries as a result of skiing and snowboarding accidents from January 2003 to March 2006. We used a questionnaire, radiological studies, history taking, and physical examinations. We analyzed the mechanism of injury, the level of spinal injury, the severity of spinal injury, and the Abbreviated Injury Scale scores (AIS score). We used the t-test and the chi-square test. RESULTS: The skiing and the snowboarding injury group included in 96 patients. The skiing injury group included 30 patients (31.2%), and the snowboarding injury group included the remaining 66 patients (69.8%). The primary mechanism of injury in skiing was collisions and in snowboarding was slip downs (p=0.508). The primary level of spinal injury in skiing and snowboarding was at the L-spine level (p=0.547). The most common athlete ability of the injured person was at the intermediate level (p=0.954). The injured were most commonly at the beginner or the intermediate level (p=0.302). The primary diagnosis of spinal injury in skiing and snowboarding was back spain (p=0.686). The AIS scores did not differed between the two groups (p=0.986). CONCLUSION: The most common spinal injury after skiing and snowboarding accidents was back sprain. There was no difference in the severity of spinal injury between skiing and snowboarding accidents.