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How to Stay Safe on the Slopes

Don’t let safety horror stories put you off doing what you love when it comes to hitting the slopes with your board or skis. Of course, accidents do happen but they are very rare and often only occur when people fail to follow basic safety rules. So if you want to know how to stay safe on the slopes and have a great time then just follow these simple rules: 1) Pick the Right Ski Wear and Safety Gear Here are the essentials that you will need when you go skiing: Skis — Try and pick skis which are best for you. Don’t pick the cheapest skis just because you are trying to save extra spending money for your holiday – safety is more important. Skis that suit your skiing ability will ensure you stay safe. Poles — Like any other sports equipment your ski poles need to be the right length. Get properly measured and ensure they are right for you before you head to the slopes. Boots — warmth and comfort are key factors to consider when getting good ski boots, they should also allow you to comfortably control your skis give you appropriate ankle support too. Bindings — These keep your skis to your feet but need to release themselves in the event of a fall or collision. However, if they come away too easily they can be just as dangerous so always seek professional help when getting these. Helmet — A snug fitting ski helmet with the appropriate padding will protect against injury and the padding within will also help support your head even in mini bumps! Eyewear — Sunglasses as well as ski goggles can give you good protection for your eyes when you are out in the snow all day. The sunglasses will protect your eyes from the strong UV rays bouncing off the snow, and goggles will protect you from any debris that may fly towards your face as you ski. 2) Don’t Forget Basic Items As well as safety gear and ski clothing, you will also need hand and boot warmers – these will keep you warm even if you are at the top of a very cold slope! Also remember to take suncream to protect against the sun’s rays on a bright day. Take a packed lunch with you and plenty of water so you can keep strength up all day and stay hydrated. This way, you won’t need to leave the slopes to have a meal. 3) Ski to Your Own Ability Beginners should never overestimate their ability to ski. The ‘how hard can it be?’ attitude is a good way of injuring yourself. Take ski lessons, start at an easy slope and work your way up. It doesn’t matter if you progress slowly, just make sure you are skiing within your own limits. 4) Pay Attention to the Signs The signs on mountains aren’t there to be ignored! If they are warning you of a possible hazard, pay attention and you could save yourself or a friend from serious injury. Always stay within the boundaries and never enter closed-off areas. 5) Be Aware of Other Skiers The skiers that have gone down the slope before you have right of way. If you want to overtake, just shout “On your right/left” to let them know you are about to come past. Don’t stop mid-trail or where skiers behind can’t see you or you will become a major hazard to other skiers. 6) Ski With Someone You may injure yourself and having someone there to look out for you is very important. Now that you know the rules – get out there and have fun!