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Staying Safe on the Slopes:
Check Your Equipment

02 JAN 2015 - BY JOSEPH TYSON

Much of staying safe on the slopes comes down to you personally. Knowing your body's limits, understanding and obeying the rules of skiing and using common sense are all incredibly important to ensure no harm comes to you or others.

However, there are certain other things that you must also take into account, namely, the equipment you use.

From your skis or snowboard, through to your boots and salopettes, right up to your goggles, you need to ensure all your gear is suitable, in working order and, overall, safe.

It seems like a lot to check, especially if you're new to this whole skiing game. But don't fear, we've got you covered. Check out our guide to checking your ski equipment properly.

Ski Binding

Ski binding is what keeps you securely fastened to your skis. Making sure this is adjusted properly is absolutely essential. They are supposed to keep you firmly in the ski while you are skiing but, in the event of a fall, they will release under certain strains and angles. If it's not done properly and you hit the deck out on the slopes you could seriously injure yourself.

If you are taking your own skis, have them checked by a professional before your holiday. When renting, you must have the binding adjusted specifically for your height and weight. Any reputable company renting ski equipment should do this for you but if they don't, make a point of asking.

Ski Binding

Skis

You won't be going anywhere without them so it's important to check these properly before you head for the lift.

Skis are carefully crafted and designed to ensure that the user can glide safely through the snow without any incident. If you are renting a pair, chances are that they will have been carefully looked after and well maintained so you won't need to worry much about their condition.

If you own a pair, then there are few things you need to do to ensure they are safe. Checking for gouges and nicks on the bottom of the ski is important. These can either be evened out by a professional or temporarily fixed with wax. To make sure they last longer, store away from damp and excessive heat.

Skis Ski Slope Equipment

Ski Boots

You need to ensure that your ski boots fit comfortably as this will significantly improve your ability to ski. If they are too big, you will feel like you have less control over the ski. If they are too small, your feet will soon start to hurt, and when you are intending to be on them for the entire day, this can be a huge problem.

It should go without saying, but whether you are renting or buying, you need to try the boots out before you start skiing. Put them on, fasten them up and move around a little, you should able to feel how well they fit you after a few steps.

Ski Boots

Ski Poles

These are essential for helping you balance yourself, especially if you are new to skiing. Checking that ski poles are right for you is a bit of a balancing act and it is totally down to the individual.

You don't want them to be too heavy otherwise your arms will be tire easily. At the same time, you want to make sure that the poles are sturdy enough to balance you properly and keep you up.

ski poles

Goggles

Protecting your eyes is very important while out on the slopes. If your vision becomes impaired at any point, you will be less in control and the consequences could be disastrous for you and others skiing around you.

The sun's glare on snow can be blinding if it catches you directly and a good set of goggles should help mitigate this and keep you visually aware. Also, they will protect your retinas from the sun's direct rays, similar to a pair of sunglasses. In the event of bad weather, or a blizzard, goggles are useful for protecting your eyes.

Ski Goggles

Further advice from across the internet

http://welove2ski.com/ski-safety
http://skiing.about.com/od/safetyforskiers/a/skisafety.htm
http://skiing.about.com/od/skiingglossary/g/bindings.htm
http://skiing.about.com/od/skigear/bb/skiboot.htm
http://skiing.about.com/od/safetyforskiers/a/skicode.htm
http://www.breakthroughonskis.com/Pages/_private_lessons/lessons5.html

Bindings
http //skiing.about.com/od/skigear/ss/bindingcheck.htm
http://www.vermontskisafety.com/vsrfaq4.php
http://www.abc-of-skiing.com/whatareskibindings.asp

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