Grab your skis, goggles, coat — and don’t forget that helmet. Skiing and snowboarding are fun activities for all ages, but come with the risk of injury. Read on for tips to make it a safe day on the mountain.
Get the Gear
Before you head out to ski or snowboard, make sure you have all your gear ready and in good condition. Everything should fit correctly so that it keeps you as safe as possible. Wearing proper gear will also help keep you warm. Items to check on before you head out include:
Pack water and snacks in case the drive takes longer than you except due to weather or traffic. You’ll also want to make sure that your cell phone is fully charged before you head out in case you need to contact friends of staff for help while on the mountain.
Helmet, Helmet, Helmet
Having a helmet that fits correctly is the most important thing you can do to prepare for a safe day on the mountain. According to a National Ski Areas Association study, helmet use has increased over the last 15 years, with 80 percent of skiers and snowboarders using helmets. Schubert would like to see that number increase to 100 percent.
“If you have a head injury it could take you out for the rest of your life,” Schubert says. “The most important things to think about when fitting a helmet are making sure that it really fits you appropriately. You want to go into a store and try on as many different helmets as they have available. I know it’s tempting to buy one online, but you’re never going to know if it fits correctly.”
If you are in an accident, your helmet’s fit can help protect you. Schubert has some tips on fitting:
- A helmet should fit low and snug over the head.
- Make sure that the helmet doesn’t wiggle or feel loose.
- Look for a model that has adjustability in the back, which will help you make sure it fits snugly.
- Find a helmet with a chin strap that will help it stay in place throughout the day.