Best Practices for Skiers and Riders to Stay Safe

Skiing and snowboarding are some of the most popular activities you’ll find in this great state of ours. Once the weather turns cold and snow begins to cap the mountains, avid skiers or riders and those just starting out begin chomping at the bit to hit the slopes. And why not? They are not only fun activities that you can share with your friends and family, it’s also great exercise.

Unfortunately, skiing and snowboarding also come with a certain level of danger that can lead to anything from bruises and scrapes to broken limbs and fatalities. You can cut down your chances of being hurt while on the slopes by following these simple tips:

Take Lessons

The first thing you should do if you’ve never skied or snowboarded before or if it’s been a while is to sign up for a brief lesson. This will educate you or refresh your memory as to how you can stay safe throughout the day. Many people who have skied or ridden in the past avoid this because they’re too embarrassed or arrogant, which can lead to accidents and injuries. A brief lesson can be indispensable to staying safe on the slopes.

Wear a Helmet

This might seem like a no-brainer (no pun intended) to anyone who’s fallen down on the slopes, but every year, many people experience concussions and much worse due to the simple fact that they decided not to don head protection. Skiing and snowboarding can be a high-speed activities, and losing control could have disastrous consequences if you don’t wear a helmet. Perhaps you don’t think helmets are cool, but you know what’s less cool? A serious head injury that could’ve been easily avoided.

Learn How to Stop

The simplest lesson you can learn that will help avoid accidents is how to stop. This will prevent you from losing control when things get a little hairy or when you get nervous, especially when there’s a crowd of others around you. It’s a good idea to practice stopping at regular intervals so that it becomes a part of your body’s muscle memory. That way, stopping becomes second nature – you’ll cut down your reaction time and help prevent accidents.

Avoid Areas Above Your Skill Level

When engaging in any activity, many of us can’t wait to get to the higher levels of experience so that we can get even more enjoyment out of it. To that end, you’ll be given the opportunity while skiing or riding to choose from different paths to take with differing levels of difficulty. If you skip ahead, you may find yourself dealing with dangerous speeds and shifts in terrain that you’re not prepared to safely navigate.

Don’t Drink Alcohol

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with relaxing after a hard day on the slopes by having a drink or two with friends or family. The operative word in that sentence, of course, is after. Skiers or riders who decide to crack open a beer – or something stronger – and then head out to the slopes are often the ones who end up endangering themselves or others.

Leave the Horseplay on the Playground

Most of us hit the slopes for one simple reason – fun! But, despite the level of enjoyment, skiing and snowboarding are activities that must be respected and taken seriously at all times. This is not the time for children or adults to mess around by knocking each other over or throwing snowballs when on a downward slope. Doing so can quickly turn into a dangerous situation.

Staying safe while on the slopes isn’t difficult if you follow the tips listed above. Every year, however, Mintz Law Firm handles injury cases related to skiing and snowboarding accidents. If you or a loved one experience such an accident, be sure to reach out for a free case evaluation.