How Dangerous is skiing?
Skiing comes across as a very dangerous sport but it is actually very relaxed, so relaxed in fact that 4 times more people hurt themselves playing netball then taking part in downhill skiing.
Skiing its self in comparison to other sports is actually very safe indeed. According to the BBC, out of every 10,000 people who head to the slopes, on average 2-3 people will have some form of small accident, this can be anything from a graze to a bruise. Out of these 2-3 people, 10% of them would have a serious injury such as a sprain, twisted ankle or worse. Which in perspective means that for every 33,333 ski trips, one of them results in injury.
When you compare this to other sports such as rugby, boxing and even your standard European football games, it is hard to see why skiing has such a fierce reputation.
Why Do People go Skiing?
Most people think that everyone who goes skiing is an adrenaline junkie as they head out to the slopes to be able to travel at high speeds and do lots of tricks and jumps for a week or two, and in fairness this is available and a lot of people do this. However, the majority actually travel to the slopes for the atmosphere and aesthetics of the slopes.
You also get many people heading to the slopes to be able to take their families and get into the more winter like spirit, things like the alpine festive image and the heavy amounts of snow make the whole place a magical experience for children and in turn, the skiing holidays bring in many families.
Which is Safer, Skiing or Snowboarding?
When it comes to skiing and snowboarding, they both have their own pros and cons in the way of safety. Snowboarding means that your feet will be locked in the same direction and position even when you fall and in turn, this means you are less likely to land in awkward and dangerous positions. However, at the same time you have to maintain a better stance to balance efficiently on a snowboard.
When you compare the two alpine sports, you find that snowboarding will give you around a 70% higher chance of having an accident whilst on the slopes whilst at the same time decreasing the chance of that accident being fatal by around 30%. In turn, if you want to have less chance of an accident all together then skiing would be for you, therefore if you don’t mind the occasional bruise and simply want to make sure you’re not seriously hurt then you may want to go for snowboarding.
That being said there have been huge advancements in winter sports equipment that means that all winter sports are getting safer, but you should only attempt any winter sport under proper supervision, with the proper equipment and coaching. If you are new at any sport and have not had proper coaching or equipment then you will increase your risk of injury.
However, it is important to remember that even with these figures, the numbers of people who get injured on skis and snowboards is very low indeed and as it is so low, the difference that your choice in alpine sports makes is so slight may not even be worth considering it.
No matter which you end up choosing be sure to wrap up warm in your winter thermals wherever you decide to go this winter.