This article was originally published here.
Every skier and snowboarder’s primary concern should be staying safe on the slopes, and that means always paying attention to your ski instructor if you’re a beginner, steering clear of cordoned off areas and always assisting if there’s an accident. You should also remember that the skier or snowboarder in front of you has priority – although overtaking is allowed if you leave enough room for unexpected movements from him/her – and you should never stop on the piste, unless there’s an emergency. Safety first, fun second – that’s our motto.
Once you’ve got the safety basics down, take a look at our pick of ski gear for extra peace of mind mountain-side…
We always advise wearing a helmet for winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. The combination of hard plastic shell and shock-absorbing foam will serve to protect your skin from lacerations and your skull from fractures, and the cosy liner will add extra warmth too.
When you ski, certain areas of your body, like your wrists, knees and back are more prone to injury, and one way to safeguard them is with protective gear, such as wrist guards, defence shorts and back protectors.
Wrist protectors are particularly good for snowboarders who put weight on their arms and wrists to turn and support themselves on the slopes. They’re designed to absorb shock and resist flexing, and have a plastic outer shell that promises a range of movement so you don’t feel restricted. Two tightening straps ensure a secure, personalised fit.
Defence shorts are great for learners as they provide cushioning and protection at the coccyx, hips, thighs and bottom – which you can expect to be landing on quite a bit if you’re just starting out! The anatomic design clings to the natural contours of your body and the mesh fabric offers breathability.
Wear a defence gilet or back protector to help shield your back from injury and provide your spleen with an extra layer of cushioning. Both of the styles below can be adjusted to fit snugly around your body via multiple straps or a belt, and neither will hinder your movement.
There is a clever three-in-one Defense 700 backpack from Wed’Ze that comes with a detachable protective back panel – carry it with the panel, without the panel, or just wear the panel on its own. Even better, the bag itself helps protect your back and legs from pulls and sprains – it’s designed to carry your skis or snowboard and helmet, saving you the trouble of awkwardly balancing your gear in your arms on the way to the ski lift. The Thermoformed back and straps guarantee maximum comfort and freedom, and the foam sits flush against the most sensitive part of your back and shoulders
Always remember to double check your equipment for damage before you set off on your skiing trip and take care with your binding and fastenings when you’re getting ready, as a loose helmet or ski boot could make your session memorable for all the wrong reasons.