Contrary to what most may think, the risks of injury while skiing or snowboarding is low. For every one thousand people on the slopes each day, only 2-4 will have an injury that actually requires medical attention. Although the risk is less than 1% of having an injury, avoiding snow sports injury is necessary so that there isn’t unplanned time off work, expensive medical treatment, or interference with enjoying the holidays. Here are a few simple tips that can reduce the risk of injury while engaging in snow sports.
Snow Sports Injury Prevention Tips
Don’t skip professional instruction. Injuries are more common in beginners and bad habits that are learned early at this stage are more difficult to change later. Also, be sure not to take on a lot of instruction too soon.
Have equipment checked regularly. Staff at equipment hiring companies should ask questions about your height/weight/ability before moving forward to choose the best gear for you. Boots should be snug without your ankle moving around inside. If your equipment doesn’t seem like it fits right, don’t hesitate to return to the hire shop and tell them about your concerns.
Warm up properly. Be sure to spend a few minutes to gently stretch your hamstrings, thigh muscles, hips, and calves before and after going on the slopes.
Don’t attempt slopes or speeds beyond your level of ability. Trying to keep up with more experienced friends will definitely increase your risk of injury.
Be aware of tree wells. Most skiers and snowboarders have never heard of tree wells but the topic is important since people have died though it is preventable by being informed.
Do not attempt to ski down a closed piste. The risk of serious injury is high and you will be held liable for the costs of rescue, sometimes prosecution even takes place. Pistes are closed for good reasons even those reasons aren’t apparent to skiers or snowboarders.
More information on injury prevention for snow sports can be found at Stop Sports Injuries website.