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Drew: Safe Skiing Trips

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By Samuetta Hill Drew

Skiing seems to have become an increasingly popular sport among southerners, as well as African Americans. The myth that African Americans do not ski is just that – a myth.

You may ask where are the most popular skiing destination spots for many Southerners? Believe it or not many of these popular ski resorts are located along the east coast, even with one located in our own state of Alabama. The other locations are primarily in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Naturally Southerners travel to the other popular nationwide ski resorts such as Vail, Colorado; Park City, Utah and Aspen, Colorado, just to name a few.

Where skiing is increasing in popularity there are some safety tips one needs to follow to have an enjoyable experience. This article will review a few of the basic safety tips, but many ski resorts offer skiing classes for beginners.

What to wear:
• Wear a certified helmet.
• Dress in layers.
• Purchase ski wear that has waterproof and wind resistant fabrics.
• Consider body amour.
• Wear ski goggles that fit properly around your helmet. If you wear eyeglasses purchase goggles which fit comfortably over your eyeglasses. If you ski often, you may want to consider purchasing prescription goggles.
• Prepare for the weather.
• Wear a helmet liner, a hat or a headband.
• Wear gloves or mittens. It’s a good practice to bring an extra pair in case they get wet.
Other safety tips:
• Use proper ski equipment. Do not borrow someone else’s equipment. Rent from the ski shop or the ski resort.
• Get in shape prior to skiing. The idea that you can ski yourself into shape is not a wise one.
• Get proper skiing instruction even if you are an experienced skier. Experienced skiers can always polish their skills. Lessons are offered in a group or individually.
• It’s best not to ski alone, rather with a friend/family member. This way you two can watch out for each other.
• Make sure you obey posted trail signs. Do not go off the trail.
• Know your limits.
• Don’t lie about your ability. Do not ski trails above your limits. Trails will be clearly marked (Green Circle, Blue Square, Black Diamond) as to what level skier is appropriate.
• Watch out for the ice.
• Know how to avoid collisions.

It’s important that you Keep an Eye on Safety so your skiing experience will be fun and enjoyable.