More than 20,000 winter sports enthusiasts recently attended a British ski and snow-boarding show in Birmingham – and nearly one and a half million Britons are taking part in some kind of winter sports every year. That number continues to rise year on year, even though we have less snow than ever before!
Despite its dangerous image and the somewhat Teutonic ‘tall white male’ image the slopes still have for many of us, skiing is now a sport available to almost anyone interested in outdoor winter activities. But it’s important to bear safety in mind and to wear adequate clothing. In particular it’s true that many women are having trouble getting ski clothing for their sizes, and there’s a big surge in sales on the protective side of clothing, as skiers are increasingly aware of being safety conscious on the slopes because they don’t want to have their holiday cut short by injuries. Remember that high visibility can be important in bad weather.
For any kind of outdoor sport you need to dress in layers with clothes designed specifically for winter sports and outdoor work which keep you dry and warm at the same time. They also carry sweat away from your inner layer of clothing which is important to stop chafing and to ensure your body temperature doesn’t drop when you cease to exercise. You definitely must invest in good gloves or mitts, a warm hat and a scarf. Beware of hypothermia – if you’re feeling cold head indoors and warm up.
Before you hit a snow slope you need to be familiar with your equipment, to be able to walk up the hill sideways and you need to be able to stop – which is the whole point of training on an artificial slope before hitting the snow for real.
ski line photograph by kalevkevad, used under a creative commons attribution licence