There are two popular types of vacations to take in the winter: skiing trips and beach escapes. There are a lot of travelers who decide to take the colder route, hitting the slopes for a few days of skiing and snowboarding in the peaceful ambiance of the snow capped mountain sides. Prior to leaving on a ski trip, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the safety tips to follow as you take on the slippery twists and turns of the snowy inclines. Here are a few safety reminders that you should keep in mind before you take off on your next ski adventure.
Make Sure You’re In Proper Shape
Nearly every medical and ski expert would advise travelers to be in shape before they head out to the slopes. There are many different types of injuries that can occur as a result of being improperly prepared for the muscle strength and endurance that are required for ski and snowboarding. If you’re planning a big ski trip and feel that you aren’t in shape, The National Ski Areas Associationadvised practicing a few standard muscle exercises before leaving, as this will better prepare your body, reducing the chance that you may strain your back, twist an ankle or sprain a muscle.
Take Efficient Equipment
Before you leave, make sure that your equipment is in proper shape, especially if you haven’t used it since the previous winter. The University of California San Francisco Medical Center explained that over half of the injuries that occur in ski areas around the country are due to equipment failure. If you don’t have your own equipment, look closely at the items that you rent, as rentals are always used and may have been overlooked by the staff when putting them up for rent again.Examine the binding of your skis and snowboard to ensure they’re in good shape and aren’t going to break midway down the mountain. All equipment pieces, such as your helmet, goggles, skis and snow boards should also be in top condition. The National Ski Patrol stressed the importance of always wearing a helmet, which can lower risk of injury by up to 50 percent.
Novices: Start With A Lesson
Like everything else, practice is the only way to get better at skiing and snowboarding. If you’re traveling with friends who are more experienced than you, it may be tempting to brave the slopes with them from the get-go, trying to pick up techniques as you go. However, this is a recipe for disaster, as you’re likely to crash or fall on a leg or arm the wrong way. Take the first day of your trip to learn from a lesson offered by the mountain staff or, if they’re willing, have your travel companions show you the ropes before taking you to the more challenging courses. According to the NSP, the key to skiing and snowboarding is control. Control must be learned and if you don’t have it, you’ll likely put yourself and others in danger.
Know Your Responsibility Code
The NSAA recommended that all skiers and snow boarders learn the seven safety measures in the responsibility code. These rules include how you interact with other skiers on the course and how you use the signs and devices on the slope to direct you. For example, a few of the rules state that the person in front of you has the right of way. When stopping, do so in a place that’s safe for you and others, observing the signs and warnings along the trail. If these and the other rules that make up the responsibility code are met, everyone on the mountain will be safer.