For many people, a trip to "the snow" is an annual ritual; a chance to get away for a few days and experience the magic for the short time it is available. It's about the views from the top of the chairlift and planning routes on the mountain map. It's about spending time with family or friends, wrapping up warm in oversized jackets, and après-ski relaxation by the fire. But mostly, it really is about the thrill (and skill) of getting down the slopes on skis or a board!
Staying safe on the slopes
People perceive snow sports to be dangerousi, and of course, like anything else we do skiing and snowboarding do come with their own risks. However, while there are risks associated with snow sports, life is still there to be lived. The best thing to do is identify risks and take action to reduce the chance of them happening.
Our tips for staying safe at the snow include:
- 1) Skiing/boarding within your limits (on runs suitable to your ability, staying on-piste, and keeping your speed and direction in check)
- 2) Investing in some lessons if you are a beginner. Beginners are at risk of injury because they don't know what they are doing. Most ski resorts offer lessons and so if you are a complete novice to the sport it is well worth investing in some - you'll improve your technique and get to see more of the mountain!
- 3) Familiarising yourself with the mountain map
- 4) Wearing a helmet. Research shows that wearing a helmet decreases the likelihood of sustaining a head injury by 40 to 60 per centii
- 5) Wearing appropriate gear for the weather conditions (there's nothing worse than skiing in a snowfall without goggles!)
- 6) Using appropriate equipment for the activity you are doing
- 7) Staying warm and taking regular breaks
- 8) Always skiing/boarding with a friend/partner
- 9) Wearing sunscreen
- 10) Observing and obeying signs on the slopes
- 11) Following the skier Alpine Responsibility Code
Making the most of a ski trip
A trip to a ski resort like Thredbo, Perisher, Falls Creek or Mt Hotham can be an unforgettable experience - but you want to make it memorable for the right reasons. Some people go skiing to have good time with friends or family and others look to improve their technique and confidence. Many go skiing to try something completely new. While the perfect trip may mean different things to different people, everyone wants to get home in one piece.
If you're planning to go skiing this winter, by taking out comprehensive life insurance with Allianz, you can enjoy your trip with the peace of mind that your affairs are in order. Contact Allianz today for a life insurance quote.
i Dickson, T.J., et al., 2008, Profiling Australian Snowsport Injuries: A Snapshot from the Snowy Mountains, Journal of Sport & Tourism, Vol. 13 (4) http://www.skipatrol.org.au/uploads/ufiles/mainlibrary/Dickson%20Gray%2008%20Injury.pdf, p.273
ii Associated Press, 2009, Ski safety in spotlight, News section of Daily Herald, published 20 March 2009, Arlington Heights Ill., p.9