With the recent dumps of snow on our ranges, now’s the time for snow sports: exhilarating, wind-in-your-hair thrills and spills! Here’s how to get the rush without ruining your day.
- Dress for the weather
Cold and wet conditions can cause blisters, sprains and strains, hypothermia and snow blindness. Layer insulating, lightweight, waterproof clothing and good quality polarised sunglasses or goggles to be at your best on the slopes. And don’t forget the sunscreen! Snow is highly reflective, and can double your exposure to the sun’s UV rays.
- Dress for the impact
A helmet can save your head, and your life. Basic protective gear is the best way to reduce the risk of serious injury, especially for kids, Beginner skiers and snowboarders can also wear wrist and knee guards to break their fall before their bones.
- Food and water
Dry alpine air and vigorous exercise can sap you of energy and hydration. Fatigue also increases the risk of injury so be sure to carry high energy snacks and drink plenty of water before and throughout the day. Sounds like a chocoholic’s dream, but don’t forget to empty your parka pocket before hanging it in the drying room!
- First aid basics
Hazards like sharp ski edges, pole ends, unexpected tree roots and low-lying branches are all around the ski fields. Carrying just a few adhesive dressings, some eyewash and a crepe bandage can help make a minor injury bearable until the rescue team or hot chocolate arrives.
- Know your ability
First time on the slopes? Get a professional lesson before you jump straight on. The ski fields can be like roads with high-speed traffic - learning how to slow down and stop without hurting yourself or others is crucial. Only attempt the advanced runs once you’re confident with the basics.
- It’s more fun with friends
The slopes are always more fun when enjoyed with friends. Skiing or boarding with a buddy means that in case of injury or disorientation, you’re never alone.
Follow these six tips and you’ll be sure to have a fantastically safe time shredding the slopes this winter.