Winter is one of the most fun times of the year, and many people love to finally get out into the snow as soon as possible. But those who are new to snowsports need to follow some basic rules in order to stay safe and enjoy the experience. Everyone knows to dress warm and wear layers to keep the cold weather in check, but dressing appropriately for the snow is just the start. Here are four more snow sports safety tips for beginners.
Stick to Beginner Slopes
When first learning to ski or snowboard, it’s important to follow the rules and start out slow. Some beginners feel a little too confident, or they just don’t want to be seen as beginners. But it’s important to stick with beginner slopes while starting out. Staying upright without falling down does not mean it’s time for the advanced slopes. Collisions with trees, rocks, and other skiers are more common when beginners attempt the advanced slopes too soon.
Don’t Be Afraid of Falling Down
Many beginners feel like falling down is to be avoided at all costs. But this is not true. Falling down is just part of the process. The key is to fall down safely. So when a beginner starts to lose balance, it’s best not to fight it. Simply slumping over into the soft snow and landing on hands and needs facing forward is safer than falling backward while the body is twisting and turning and arms and legs are flailing in all directions.
Avoid the Back Country
Slopes and trails are roped off and marked for a reason. Every year, park rangers and snow lodge staff spend a lot of time and money trying to rescue lost hikers, skiers, and snowboarders who got in over their heads. Beginners should always put safety first, dress and pack appropriately, follow the rules and respect posted boundaries and signage.
Dehydration is a common problem for everyone who works and plays outdoors, no matter what time of year. But dehydration happens surprisingly often in the winter when people are out in the snow all day. Since it is cold and snowy, many outdoor enthusiasts mistakenly think they won’t need much water. But it’s still important to bring along extra fluids and drink often throughout the day.
Wear Safety Gear
There are a lot of necessary pieces of equipment you need to have for safety. You need warm clothing to stay warm. You need snow goggles to protect your eyes. You need GPS or an emergency beacon in case of an avalanche. Always wear your safety gear when going out on the slopes.
By following these winter safety tips, beginning snow sports students will find their time in the snow much more enjoyable. Simply following basic instructions and following common sense is the best way to avoid injury and stay safe on the slopes.
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