Close your eyes. Imagine the cool rush of alpine air flooding your lungs as you take a deep breath. There’s not a cloud in the sky the morning after two feet of fresh powder fell the night before. The anticipation in your body to hit the slopes can be felt as pins and needles crawling over your skin.
Getting off the lift for the first run of the day is like getting off the bus to go home on the last day of school, every flake is another great experience waiting to happen. Your legs feel full of energy, and your turns are as smooth as butter.
Then. Ice patch. Then.YARD SALE.
Studies and statistics exist stating the number of serious ski injuries per 1000 skier visits is roughly 2-4 (in the USA). Sure, these rates seem pretty low, especially compared to other sports, but considering over 50 million visits are made to ski/snowboard resorts each year, that’s between 100,000 and 200,000 major injuries each year. These major injuries primarily include head injuries, fractures, ACL/MCL tears, joint dislocations, and death.
This being said, I must share with you some pointers on “the art” of falling that I came across recently:
- Keep your knees flexed, and don’t try to straighten them during a fall since a straight leg provides a longer lever for force against the knee.
- When you’re down, stay down; don’t try to stop the fall. You can not predict which way your leg is going to twist.
- Fall forward. Don’t land on your hands backward. Keep your arms up and forward. Falling backwards places abnormal forces across the ACL.
- Don’t plant your poles.
- Don’t jump unless you know where and how to land. Land on both skis and keep your knees flexed
(Via jointhealing.com and ifyouski.com)
So, tis the season for outdoor winter sports and all their concomitant injuries. Let’s make sure that the snow is the only thing that is seriously falling this Winter.