5 Tips to Stay Safe on the Slopes
Written by Victoria (Tori) Feige – Registered Physiotherapist & Adaptive Ski Instructor
The mountains are calling. Skiing and snowboarding are great ways to stay fit and have fun this season. It’s easy to get swept up in the moment, but on-hill injuries are often avoidable.
Here are a few tips to help you stay injury free as you play in the mountains.
- Wear a helmet. Even the best athletes fall unexpectedly sometimes. A properly fitting helmet is not overly tight, but a snug fit with no sliding or shifting if your head bobbles. Check out https://www.skicanada.org/safety/ for more information. If you have googles, but no helmet, bring your googles with you on your hunt for a helmet to ensure both are compatible.
- Check your equipment. Properly fitting boots can make a world of different for confidence and control. Likewise, an edges tune-up or bindings check can keep you keep control on unexpectedly icy sections. Local shops in the city here have better prices on tune-ups than the on-hill locations.
- Dynamic warm up. Skiing and boarding are balance sports. Dynamic stretching, simple mini-squats and single leg balance challenges are great ways to warm up. You can sneak these exercises in when you find yourself waiting in the carpark or lift lines.
- Ski or board with a buddy at your level. It’s more fun and safer to ski with a friend. Be honest and open about your confidence level in various terrain. The mountain maps and green, blue and black run colour codes indicate the terrain and general skill guidelines. However, as snow conditions change, terrain can get substantially more challenging.
- Call it a day – avoid the ski out. Most people get injured on the last run of the day. This is partly due to fatigue, crowded ski runs and deteriorating snow conditions. Call it a day when you’re ready, download and enjoy the après-ski injury free. Remember the best skier/boarders are the ones having the most fun.