Every snowboarder remembers his very first crash. Every skier can recall the first time he took a powder and ended up with a face full of snow and a thigh full of blooming bruises. Crashing is an inevitable part of learning how to master any snow sport. You will crash and it will hurt. It’ll hurt a lot. The important thing is that you wipe the snow out of your eyes, get back on your feet and keep on pushing. You don’t become a master without suffering a few bumps and scrapes along the way.
Nevertheless, you probably do want to keep those crashes to a minimum. Injury on the slopes certainly isn’t uncommon but it doesn’t happen to everyone and if you’re careful you can almost always avoid it, say experts at Everybody.co.nz. If you do have an accident – don’t panic. There are highly trained medics stationed at every snow sports resort in the world and they will give you the best care available.
Here are 10 tips and tricks that you can use to avoid ski crashing.
Know Your Limits – stick to the appropriate piste. If you’re a beginner, don’t get a big head and try to go down an expert track. It will end in tears. Consider joining one of the many snowboard instructor courses available to building up your abilities before going on holiday.
Maintain Your Stance – the most stable skiing position is with feet shoulder width apart, toes pointing inwards and heels apart. Your feet should make a triangular V shape. When it comes to snowboarding, things are a little different. Your stance depends on your height and the snowboard that you are using. Practice your stance on flat, dry ground in order to find out what feels comfortable for you.
Look Ahead – stop looking at your feet! Whilst moving, you must always look ahead at the place you’re trying to travel to. It sounds like an obvious tip but you’d be surprised at just how many novices end up flat on their faces because they don’t look where they’re going.
Put The Brakes On – Always remember that you’re on a mountain side, you’re not driving around the block back home. Like a fast moving car, you won’t stop immediately. If you don’t want to fall or crash into anything, you’ve got to give yourself some braking distance. Don’t panic if you put the brakes on but don’t stop immediately.
Love The Bumps – bumpy slopes are more commonly known as mogul fields and they can fill a first time skier or snowboarder with dread. Rest assured – these bumps will actually help you maintain control and speed. Never fear the bumps, say experts at E4S.co.uk.
Don’t Lean Back – when it comes to traversing a mogul field, avoid leaning back. If you lean back too far for too long, you will fall. Don’t let the bumps control the way you’re balancing your weight – keep it forward at all times.
Don’t Lose Your Head – never go out on the slope without a helmet, says New York Times journalist Gretchen Reynolds. You wouldn’t ride a bike on the road without one, so why would you throw yourself down a mountain without one? If you ever get into a bad situation, your helmet will absorb much of the blow.
Warm It Up – Snow sports are called snow sports for a reason. They’re a massive strain on the body and it is always a good idea to warm up before embarking on them. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – just a few quick leg stretches before you hit the pistes. A warm up will help you to feel limber, balanced and prepared.
Think Food – skiing and snowboarding are all about balance. It makes sense to think that if you eat a huge meal, you’ll be able to ski less efficiently. If you’re planning on indulging in a heavy lunch, give the slopes a break for at least an hour afterwards.
Stay Confident – don’t let a tumble or a powder knock your confidence. Snow sports are all about confidence, so you really can’t afford to let it slip if you want to become a master. Everybody falls and everybody looks stupid from time to time – it doesn’t matter. Get back on your feet and get back up that slope.