Everyone’s thoughts are with Michael Schumacher following his accident whilst skiing and we all wish him a speedy recovery. Currently there is plenty of snow in many of the leading ski resorts and with the main ski season under way, it is important to remember safety on the slopes is the top priority.
There are various ways you can protect yourself for accidents, and common sense needs to prevail at all times. Recent research indicates that half of British people skiing do NOT carry any safety gear at all when skiing or snowboarding - obviously choosing to ignore the fact that it can cost up to £40,000 to get rescued from ski slopes should they get into trouble.
Carrying the correct equipment could be the difference between getting yourself safely down a slope following an accident or having to be lifted off the side of a mountain. Some of the basic equipment required includes:
Helmet – you should never, ever venture out onto the slopes without one in any snow sport whatsoever. This is a simple precaution, and one which Michael Schumacher took – and which helped save him from worse injury.
Wrist guard gloves/mitts – not only designed to keep you warm, they support your wrists and can prevent strain injuries as well as damage should an accident occur. Wrists are the most common part of the body to suffer injury by skiers.
Goggles – UV rays can damage your eyes and the sun glare from the snow can be dazzling so ski goggles will allow you to see further whilst skiing.
Transceiver – for those who like to go off-piste, a transceiver is essential in the event of an avalanche. This uses advanced technology to offer the best chance of rapidly locating you if you should get lost. In such dangerous terrain this is a necessity, not a luxury.
ABS airbag – yes, they exist for skiers! For serious off-piste skiers this can help save your life. With the pull of an activation handle, airbags are deployed which help keep you at the top of a moving avalanche and thus aid your chances of survival.
Insurance – never attempt any form of activity holiday (indeed any holiday!) without proper travel insurance. You need to make sure that you buy the cover that suits your particular needs. For example on a family ski holiday you may wish to take advantage of activities such as skidooing and heliskiing – and these may not be included in a standard insurance package. The main thing to bear in mind here is not to just buy the cheapest policy you can find, but to think about what you are going to be doing on your holiday and get the right insurance to do the job. The best thing to do is to talk to a professional broker who can offer good, sensible advice. Just one call to our friendly team at Westhill Insurance Services will make sure you go on holiday with the insurance you need: as an independent insurance broker we will shop around to make sure you get the right insurance at a price you can afford. Make sure you stay safe and enjoy your time on the slopes this ski season – pick up the phone and let us help you ski your way to happiness!