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Skier Safety Tips

How to Ski Safely

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Skier Safety Tips

Skier Safety Tip: ski with a friend

Image Copyright Michael Doyle
One of the best skiing safety tips is really a matter of personal choice - to wear, or not to wear, a helmet while skiing. Both the NSP (National Ski Patrol) and the PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) encourage wearing a helmet, but, it isn't mandated.

If you consider those who routinely wear protective headgear, including football and baseball players, construction workers, horseback riders, rock climbers, bicyclers, auto racers, and motorcycle riders - it certainly makes sense that skiers should be just as careful. The most important safety tip that I would personally give to any level skier, is to wear a certified helmet. The other safety tips listed below are important too.

Ski Safety Tips

Exercise in advance. You will have much more fun on the slopes if you're in good shape. Work your way up to skiing by exercising year-round on a regular basis.

Use proper ski equipment. Don't borrow equipment. Rent from a ski shop or the ski resort. When buying equipment, make sure your ski boots are fitted properly. In both cases, make sure your bindings are properly adjusted.

Wear a helmet. Wearing protective headgear while skiing makes good sense. The most important tip I would offer to all parents and guardians ­is to give a child no choice but to wear a helmet.

Prepare for the weather. Wear layers of clothes and wear a helmet liner, a hat, or a headband. Wear gloves or mittens. Bring an extra pair in case the first pair gets wet.

Get proper instruction. Sign up for ski lessons (either individual or group). Even experienced skiers polish up their skills with a lesson now and then.

Wear goggles. Wear ski goggles that fit properly around your helmet. If you wear eyeglasses, buy goggles that fit comfortably over your eyeglasses or consider prescription goggles.

Take a break. If you're tired, take a break and rest for a while in the lodge. While you're resting, make sure you eat and drink enough. Skiing burns a lot of energy! When it's the end of the day, there's no need to try and get in a last run, or two, if you are tired. It's better to quit while you're ahead and save your energy for next time.

Ski with a friend. It's always safer to ski with a friend so he can watch out for you and vice versa. Prearrange a meeting place in case you get separated and use walkie-talkies to stay in touch.

Respect your limits. Do not ski trails that are above your skill level. Trails will be clearly marked (Green Circle, Blue Square, Black Diamond) as to what level skier they are appropriate for. On a similar note, stay in control of your skis and focus on the trail you are skiing. Accidents happen more readily when we are distracted.

Follow the rules. Do not go off-trail. Obey posted trail closure and other warning signs. They are there for a reason. Remember that skiers who are in front of you, and below you, on the trail have the right-of-way.

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