Local News

Responsibility the Key to Safe Skiing

Posted January 7, 1998 12:00 a.m. EST

— The skiing-related deaths of Michael Kennedy and Sonny Bono have many people wondering if it's really safe on the slopes. How can you avoid the dangers? First and foremost, use good judgment.

Lane Rains is getting ready to take a group of boy scouts on a big ski trip. He is well aware of the dangers involved. His group was given tips by ski instructors. Rains knows from his experience skiing in Europe that you have to be safe.

Rains is an experienced skier. But sometimes accidents can happen to even the experts.

"It doesn't matter what sport we are talking about," says Stephen Walker, General Manager of Slope and Sail. "All sports have some risk assigned to them."

Walker has been in the ski business for 10 years. He says there are things you can do to minimize those risks. They require being a responsible skier.

For example, don't ski too close to the edge. Don't ski faster that you can control. Make sure you're responsible for your own safety, and avoid people and objects in front of you.

The other part of safe skiing involves equipment. Helmets are important, and making sure your equipment is in good shape could keep you from getting hurt.

Slope and Sail employees test ski bindings to make sure they are releasing properly. That measure could prevent a leg injury.

Using common sense and good equipment could keep your trip down the slopes from turning into a ride to the hospital.

A few more helpful tips:

  • Check your equipment.
  • Take some kind of lesson before you hit the slopes.
  • When you are on the slopes, watch your speed.
  • Look out for others.
  • Watch for changes in the weather conditions.
  • Remember to sign a permission for treatment form, just in case you do get hurt.
  • Make sure that the equipment fits your height and weight.