Huntington Beach Ski Club
Skiing & Snowboarding With New Friends
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Safety Tips

Not much compares to the excitement you can get out of skiing. The rush of cold wind blowing past your face and the rapid descent are exhilarating . Yet, with high speeds, impacts have tremendous energy putting skiers at risk. So.. it’s important to take safety precautions to avoid skiing accidents, or worse.

When skiing accidents happen, skier's can suffer from minor bruises or cuts to more major injuries, from broken bones, pulled ligaments, torn tissue, head or neck injuries that cause paralysis or even death. While skiing is definitely a fun and exciting activity, individuals should always keep safety in mind.

Exercise in advance. You will have much more fun on the slopes if you're in good shape. Work your way up to skiing by exercising year-round on a regular basis. Many injuries occur in the morning, due to not being warmed up prior to starting the day.

Use proper ski equipment. Avoid borrow equipment. You do not know maintenance history, also fit may not be proper for you. Rent from a ski shop or the ski resort. When buying equipment, make sure your equipment are fitted properly. On skis make sure your bindings are properly adjusted. Many injuries occur from them releasing at the wrong time, or not releasing in the event of a fall. 

Wear a helmet. Wearing protective headgear while skiing makes good sense. The most important tip I would offer to all parents and guardians ­is to give a child no choice but to wear a helmet. REMEMBER, just because you are wearing a helmet, you are not indestructible. The helmet only helps with some of the impact. IT DOES NOT stop the brain from bouncing around in your skull. Any questions can be answered by speaking to Rick for a few minutes. You do not want brain damage.

Prepare for the weather. Wear layers of clothes and wear a helmet liner, a hat, or a headband. Wear gloves or mittens. Bring an extra pair in case the first pair gets wet. It is usually better to be a little warm than cold all day. Note, with frostbitten fingers you cannot text!!!

Get proper instruction. Sign up for ski lessons (either individual or group). Even experienced skiers polish up their skills with a lesson now and then.

Wear goggles. Wear ski goggles that fit properly around your helmet. If you wear eyeglasses, buy goggles that fit comfortably over your eyeglasses or consider prescription goggles. Sunglasses are NOT ski goggles. Consider what can happen if wearing sunglasses if you crash and they break and a fragment stabs your eye.

Take a break. If you're tired, take a break and rest for a while in the lodge. While you're resting, make sure you eat and drink enough. Skiing burns a lot of energy! When it's the end of the day, there's no need to try and get in a last run, or two, if you are tired. It's better to quit while you're ahead and save your energy for next time. If you are tired, your reflexes slow down, and you may fail on a simple task and get hurt badly.

Ski with a friend. It's always safer to ski with a friend so he can watch out for you and vice versa. Prearrange a meeting place in case you get separated and use walkie-talkies to stay in touch.

Respect your limits. Do not ski trails that are above your skill level. Trails will be clearly marked (Green Circle, Blue Square, Black Diamond) as to what level skier they are appropriate for. On a similar note, stay in control of your skis and focus on the trail you are skiing. Accidents happen more readily when we are distracted.

Follow the rules. Do not go off-trail. Obey posted trail closure and other warning signs. They are there for a reason. Remember that skiers who are in front of you, and below you, on the trail have the right-of-way. When off trail, it may seem fun until the one time you get hurt or buried under the snow.  Think how bad someone will feel notifying your next of kin.
NO TEXTING while skiing. Yes, some people think it is cleaver to do, prior the accident they caused.
 Prior to a trip
1.)get the resorts emergency numbers the resorts respond faster than 911. When injured it is a pain to have to wait on hold  while 911 patches you to the                               resort emergency number.
Mammoth Ski Patrol number non emergency  760-934-2571 ext 3276  
Mammoth Emergency Hotline 760-934-0611
3.) Also, keep list of members on current trip with you. You never know when you are hurt and need a new best friend until help arrives. 

Equipment Maintenance

Wearing the proper gear is important. Goggles, apt suits, helmets, and shoes, protect a person not only from the biting cold, but these can also help cushion falls. It is also important that all kinds of equipment used for skiing are in good working condition. If a person is barreling down a slope, then it’s essential that all of the items that he has on him are working perfectly. These things help skiers move in the direction they want and maintain their balance well too.

For individuals who are renting equipment, it’s important to only borrow from reliable ski rental places. It’s no good to rent something that’s cheap but unreliable. It’s better to pay more for high quality items that will surely work well when used.

Skiing gear must also fit skiers perfectly. Wearing something that’s too loose or too tight can trigger an accident as this will affect the way a person skis. For instance, if a person decides to wear skis that are a bit loose, these can get wobbly especially once the individual speeds up downhill. Wobbly skis can injure a skier in many ways.

Ski Collisions

Skiers can bump into each other. Injuries are usually minor if both skiers are either just walking or skiing very slowly. But those who are moving at very high speeds can get more serious injuries in case they do crash into others.

Generally, individuals who are going uphill are liable in case of an accident. The reason for this is that people going uphill have more control as to where they are going. So, they can readily avoid skiers going downhill. This is why it’s important to establish who was uphill or downhill in ski collision cases. To avoid such accidents, people should always be careful when going up. They should use designated paths to avoid crashing into other skiers. Treat accidents like vehical accidents, do not leave the scene of accident until confirmed if the other party(s) is ok. 

Weather or Environmental Conditions

It’s vital for skiers to observe snow and wind conditions before skiing. Most ski resorts post signs that describe certain slopes to help skiers evaluate if they have the capabilities and experience to ski on such areas. A person must read these types of information so that he’ll also know if slopes are safe for him or not. Warning signs should also be followed. If a sign tells a person that skiing is not allowed on a certain path, then that individual must not ski on it to avoid getting into an accident or to prevent more serious incidents, like triggering a huge avalanche. Wind conditions must be considered as well. This will help skiers assess how or in what direction they are going to lean on their skis.