by Frank V. Persall
Let's be honest, the best way to fall while skiing or even any snow sporting activity is not to fall at all. But of course, falling is not something we can always keep track of when it would happen to take necessary precautions to prevent it from happening. However, it happens every time and not just while skiing.
This post is for anyone looking to ski for the first time. With this guide, you will at least have a good idea of how to avoid falling and hurting yourself badly. In other words, this is not a guarantee that you would not fall or that there would no pain! There is even a saying that goes "no pain no gain" right? But for the most part, you can expect this guide to save you from the worse of falls and scratches.
Before we go into depths on the different techniques that we have for you, it is important to note this crucial skiing rule. Always ensure you land with your skis touching the ground. This is important to keep in mind, especially since there is a big chance you are reading this post because you are a new skier. Most often when we fall, whether while doing a sporting activity or not, by default we either fall on our side, back, or even fall forward. Though understandable, this can be quite painful while skiing due to the speed and momentum one can quickly gain while skiing.
Now that we have all that out of the way, we can now discuss the best falling techniques to help you minimize injuries and pain in case of a fall.
To start, it is only right to state that these techniques would teach you how to fall in different directions. But since you will only have a split second to react while falling, these techniques go beyond just learning what they are all about.
Hence, you must coordinate your body weight to ensure it is distributed evenly. This requires a lot of mental willpower but it would save you a lot of pain and from the worse of injuries.
Side falls are pretty common especially if you were unbalanced from the side.
When it comes to this type of fall, you are more likely to injure your arm. As a result, this technique would focus on that.
While falling, you have to make sure your arm is straight and not bent or making any angles. Martial artists use this while falling over to prevent any injury. This is because when you suddenly subject your arm to carrying all of your body weight, especially at an odd angle, there is a big chance of hurting your arm.
Due to how important yet tricky this technique is, you might want to practice it on a soft rug, soft snow, or even a soft bed if you have one. A trampoline would also work just fine.
So what will you be practicing?
You will be practicing how to:
NOTE: As we stated earlier, side falls are quite tricky because we all have reflexes that we might want to use to help catch our fall. However, the truth is that you would only end up hurting your elbow, wrist, hand or even suffer a dislocation depending on how hard you fall.
All falls that occur during a sporting activity is unique to each sport. For instance, landing on your back after falling is more common in snowboarding but quite rare while skiing. However, it does happen so we have a technique for it.
Of course, just like the first technique, you must know what type of injury you would be avoiding by learning and perfecting this technique.
For the most part, with this type of fall, you are at risk of making an impact on the back of your head after falling. Hence it is very dangerous.
How to land on your back properly is quite technical. While falling, you need to force your body to roll. That way you would be using your two arms as a cushion for the impact. This would also protect your head while also ensuring the weight of the fall is evenly distributed around your body.
So, to help make the technique a bit clearer, here are the steps:
Avoid any reflex action that might involve you trying to catch your fall with your hand or elbow while falling backward. You can end up twisting the arm badly.
This type of fall is very common irrespective of the sporting activity you are carrying out. it even randomly happens when you are not performing or partaking in any sports activity. It could be due to not being fully aware of your environment while walking or even due to accidental slips.
To be honest, this type of fall is very easy to deal with. Why? Because you have probably already had to do it one way or the other before reading this article.
Usually, when we are trying to fall forward, our reflex kicks in and we instinctively try to balance our weight on the tip of our shoes. Then once the fall momentum reduces we quickly shift our weight back to the soles of our shoes. Sound familiar?
Well, the technique is good. Only that you can improve it. Next time you are falling forward, try to get your balance with your arms in front of you
That said, there is also another way you can fall forward. However, this requires you to be a lot more athletic. Also, you can only do this if you are falling as a result of being ejected from your ski midways.
Below are the steps involved in carrying out this technique:
- First off, you have to be midair for this to work which is why you can only do this when you are falling forward as a result of being ejected from your ski
- Next, you have to apply a martial arts-oriented roll which involves using your arm as a focal point to do a roll midair. To initiate the roll, curve one of your arms and enter into a roll-on that side of your arm. If you do it correctly, the back of your shoulders should slightly touch the floor first before other parts of your body.
Falling and trying to minimize injuries sustained while falling is not the only thing one needs to worry about. It is also important to learn how to safely get back on your ski after a fall without further injuring yourself! Unlike snowboards that you can simply remove the straps holding your snowboard boots to the board and safely get back on your feet. For skis, not so much.
That said, here are the tips to safely get back on your feet:
- Remove the straps of your pole and proceed to untangle your skis while still on the flood.
- Next, keeping your legs under you, make your skis face sideways
- Then, bring both of your legs together. If you have a skiing pole, use it to support yourself upright.
NOTE: If you don't have one, you can also use your hands as a means of supporting your weight.
- Crouch and slowly bend forward. With your pole or an outstretched hand, push yourself off the ground.
Knowing how to avoid crashes or avoid injuries while falling is good. However, you can easily reduce how often you fall by practicing these safety tips.
1. Exercise to stay fit. This greatly improves your reflexes and helps you react faster. Thus, when a fall does occur, you are fit enough to carry out any falling technique without missing a breath.
2. Ensure all your ski equipment is fitted and of the correct size. Using over-sized gear or equipment never ends well in any sports activity
3. Get some lessons if you have no idea how to start. This could involve paying for a ski instructor or getting tips from your friends or family. The important thing here is to understand the basis of skiing and how to do it the right way.
4. Use ski goggles as it prevents debris from entering your eyes.
5. Do not overextend yourself. Take breaks if you have to regain your strength. Most falls and injuries are caused as a result of having tired legs.
6. Avoid tracks that are too technical for your level. Most ski resorts have different tracks which you can choose based on how much experience you have skied since they all have a different level of difficulty.
7. Lastly, avoid skiing on icy patches or hard snow. Cushioning your falls on such tracks is very difficult.
And there you have it. Hopefully, now you can protect yourself even during a fall. Remember, you have to practice the techniques so that you can easily pull them off. You can't just read it and expect to remember or pull it off midway through a fall.
About Frank V. Persall
Originally from the UK, Frank has a passion for skiing and anything snow related. He is currently on a never ending mission to visit the best ski resorts across the USA and the the World. Frank is happiest when he is on ski slopes with his wife and three children.