There is always an element of risk to skiing and snowboarding, but there are a number of precautions you can take to reduce your chances of injuries that, at the very least, will ruin your holiday.
If you do not have time to train yourself before a holiday, there are still measures to take on the slopes. Many of them may seem like common sense, but common sense can go out the window all too easily with that first breath of mountain air.
Tired, ill or drunk? Don’t ski
Skiing and snowboarding are both energetic sports that demand concentration from your body and mind, especially at altitude. If you are are not functioning at your best you are more likely to take a tumble.
Leave that ‘one last run’
Go home on a high, not when you are exhausted. That last run may be icy, slushy, bumpy and rammed full of moving obstacles who, like you, are tired. Swallow your pride and take the bubble back, or just go home a little earlier.
Stay in your comfort zone
Spending time in a group of skiers and boarders more competent than you is an excellent way to improve your technique, but it’s not worth the potential bumps and breaks incurred desperately trying to keep up with them all day and taking on pitches far beyond your capability.
Walk to the lifts, then on the slopes start with gentle gradients and slow, sweeping turns before building up to steeper runs and shorter turns. You need to warm up at the beginning of the day and again after you have stopped for longer than a few minutes e.g. after lunch.
Stretch after, not before
Static stretching before skiing could increase your chances of injury. Instead warm up and do dynamic stretching. Then, while your muscles are still warm at the end of the day do static stretching to your back, quads (front of thigh), gluts (buttocks) and any other muscles that feel tight.