9 Skiing Safety Tips To Keep In Mind This Season

Ski patrol team rescue skier with skiing injury
James Shaffer
By James Shaffer
Last updated on August 17, 2022
Table of Contents

Today, we'll share some of our favorite skiing safety tips that'll help you stay safe on the slopes this season.

Staying Safe On The Slopes

In the US, over 6.8 million active skiers indulge in this wonderful sport every year, and this number jumps to a staggering 200 million worldwide. And while it’s fantastic to see so many people falling in love with this fun, engaging activity, one of the most important aspects of skiing is safety.

We won’t deny that some injuries are unpreventable. In fact, according to one study, many skiers injure lower parts of their body, such as their knees and ankles solely due to the force and impact exerted on these joints while skiing. 

Most of these documented injuries are to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which is a prevalent skiing injury, especially amongst younger females.

That said, there are plenty of ways that you can prevent injuries and stay as safe as possible while skiing. 

Below, we share a few of the best skiing safety tips to keep in mind this season!

1. Exercise And Stretch Before Skiing

woman stretching before exercise

Being in good physical shape does have its perks. 

Not only is a healthy person stronger, but being in good shape can also help prevent injuries naturally. Essentially, the healthier and more physically active you are, the better your body will be able to perform on the slopes. 

So make a point being active and exercising regularly beyond the skiing season. We recommend doing these ski exercises to prepare for the season to make sure you’re physically prepared for the slopes.

2. Use Your Own Equipment

As a general rule, it’s best not to use other people’s equipment.

Renting skiing equipment is fine if necessary, but it’s crucial to ensure that your skiing equipment fits you properly, which isn’t likely going to happen when you’re borrowing someone else’s helmet or ski boots

Plus, when you’re buying equipment for yourself, make sure it fits you properly. This is especially important when buying boots since leg, ankle, and knee injuries are some of the most common injuries amongst skiers. 

3. Always Wear A Helmet

Man wearing a ski helmet

If you want to be safe out on the slopes, you’ll want to invest in a few essential pieces of safety equipment, including a high-quality helmet. 

In fact, a helmet isn’t only a safety recommendation. But most ski resorts won’t even let you on the hill if you’re not wearing one. 

But with that said, not all helmets are created equal, and high-quality skiing helmets can make all the difference in terms of injury prevention and comfort while out on the hill.

Check this guide for more information on helmet fitting.

4. Prepare For Cold Weather (But Don’t Overdress)

Since ski season is during the colder months of the year, you obviously want to make sure you’re dressing appropriately for the expected forecast. 

The best way to dress appropriately is by wearing layers of clothes, and wearing a helmet liner, hat, or headband, which will allow you to add or remove layers of clothing as necessary. 

However, you’ll need to make sure you’re not overdressed, because if your body gets too warm and you start sweating, you’ll end up feeling colder than you already are. Fortunately, most modern ski jackets are vented, allowing you to cool off as needed.  

5. Bring Your Goggles

On top of a helmet, wearing ski goggles will also help keep you comfortable and safe while you’re out hitting the slopes. Not only will wearing a pair of goggles ensure a proper line of vision while skiing, but they’ll also help prevent UV damage from the sun, and keep your face warm, while you’re shredding down the hill. 

But instead of wearing just any old pair of goggles, you’ll need to make sure that they fit your face properly while wearing a helmet. 

6. Take Periodic Breaks

When you get tired, you are more prone to getting into ski accidents than when you’re well-rested. 

So with that in mind, one of the best ways to prevent injuries is to take periodic breaks and make sure you’re well-rested before a big day of skiing. 

Also, make sure to drink plenty of water and eat healthy snacks throughout the day to make sure you’re hydrated and have the energy to tackle any mountain.

Once you get home from a day on the slopes, we recommend getting a large healthy meal. It’ll aid in the restitution process of your body, so you’re ready for another day on the hills.

7. Ski With Friends

a group of friends having fun together at a ski resort

Any sport is more fun and enjoyable when you have others to do it with, and it also makes skiing a much safer experience. 

The fact is that no matter how prepared you are, there is always going to be some level of risk involved in skiing down a mountain at high speeds. That’s why it’s crucial to have a ski partner with you so that if you were to disappear and get lost or injured, they’d be able to notify ski patrol to help find or help you. 

Also, it’s smart to pre-arrange a meeting place in case you get separated from one another. For instance, you might plan on meeting back at the chalet after each run. That way, if one or the other doesn’t show up after a given amount of time, it could be an indication that something is amiss. We especially recommend this approach for big families with kids as people will likely be on different skill levels so you’re not all going on the same routes.

You might also want to consider using walkie-talkies to keep in touch, which is smarter than bringing your phone on your downhill runs though this can be a little expensive and/or unhandy at times.

8. Respect Your Limits

One other way to ensure your safety on the slopes is to know and respect your own personal limits. 

Each run on any slope will have trail signs that you can use as a guide to gauge the skills needed for that given run. So for instance, if you’re a beginner, you’re going to want to avoid attempting any black diamond or double black diamond runs. These are steeper, which means you’ll need to be more confident in your abilities to tackle these runs safely. 

The higher the level it is, the easier it is for you to get out of control quickly if you’re not prepared.

9. Protect Your Back

man wearing ski back protector

Although back injuries are not as commonly seen as some other type of injuries in snow sports, they're often very serious. Especially for the ones practicing high-speed snow sports, a back protection solution is a good idea.

Ski and snowboard back protectors come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some have integrated backpacks, others are full-on jackets while some are minimalistic and breathable vests with a honeycomb-style of back protection.

You can usually get a back protector for anywhere between $50 and up to $150 for the more premium models. If you ask us, that's a fair price to pay to ensure one of the most critical body parts for motoric function stays intact in case of a serious impact.

Preventing Skiing Injuries Is Possible

Ski patrol team rescue skier with skiing injury

Even though some accidents are unpreventable, there are plenty of ways to lower the risk, and to keep yourself and others safe while shredding up the ski slopes. 

That’s why it’s crucial to keep these skiing safety tips in mind; so that you’ll be safe and can focus on having as much fun as possible!

Even though it’s easy to get carried away in the adrenaline rush of a steep trail, it’s important to respect the speed.

If you have any other tips you’d like us to include, reach out to us and we’ll consider adding it to the article.

James Shaffer

James Shaffer

James is a veteran snowboarder and skier. His passion for snow sport dates back to his early life growing up in Colorado. He spent his early adulthood as a ski instructor around popular locations in Europe but is now back in Colorado.
Published October 21, 2020
Last updated August 17, 2022
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