While it is enjoyable to go for a skiing holiday in the French Alps, Pyrenees, Colorado or one of the other world’s top ski areas, there are many dangers associated with the activity. Falling over and breaking something, through to crashing into other people, and including accidents as the result of poorly fitted equipment, you might end up having a less enjoyable holiday. It is important to think about some of the key ways in which you can try to avoid getting injured while skiing and there are some general rules that should be followed and which can help.
Before going on a skiing holiday, make sure that the equipment and the clothes that you bring or use are well fitted and checked over by a qualified instructor. This is particularly important to do if it’s the first time you’re skiing. Make sure that you can handle the weight of your equipment and try to bring along a lightweight helmet that won’t impede your vision. Stretching before going out onto the slopes should also help to prevent cramp from wearing heavy clothing on the slopes.
People showing off when skiing are asking for trouble, and particularly when they are skiing for the very first time. Do not be embarrassed to use beginner slopes, and make sure you check with instructors to see if you’re not making any dangerous mistakes that might increase your risk of injury. Taking the time to get used to the slopes will be worth it when you consider that some people instead find themselves stuck in a cast for the duration of their holiday. Not be one of them.
You’re probably going to have a fall at some point on the slopes, so try to fall in the most practical way possible; this means not throwing out your hands to break your fall, as this will more than likely cause worse injuries. Try to go down on your side, or fall forward without going head first. While this can be difficult on the spur of the moment, having plenty of padding will make it easier to cushion falls.
This should be fairly self-explanatory and yet is one of the most common reasons for accidents on the slope. Drinking alcohol while or before skiing will damage your concentration, and will significantly reduce your reaction times. By taking these risks, you’re not only creating dangers for yourself, you’re also putting other skiers around you at risk. If you plan to take part in Apres Ski activities i..e drinking and going down the slope at night time, consider whether or not this wil invalidate your travel insurance policy! (Learn more about how drinking can affect your holiday cover).
Don’t go off alone if you’re not familiar with slopes, and make sure that someone’s keeping an eye on you when you’re setting off; the more people you have in your group, the more chance there’ll be that someone can come to your aid in an accident, or can tell you when you’re doing something dangerous.
Injuries can be caused by not stretching properly before going out on the slopes, and particularly when you take on too much weight. Warming up your legs and arms will reduce your risk of pulling a muscle, and will make it easier to build up stamina, yoga positions can also help to stretch out tired legs – make sure you stretch before and after skiing, as muscles can easily cramp in the shift from cold to hot weather.
Check a route before skiing, and try not to ski where there’s a lot of people going at once – this is particularly important when there’s children. Similarly, try not to brake suddenly on the piste, as this can take others unawares and cause accidents.
Pay attention to any warning signs around the slopes – these might indicate anything from heavy snowfall to areas that are being repaired, or that are a danger to ski on. Always check with your ski instructor for any special information that you might need, and make sure you know who to ask for help if there are any problems.