With thousands of people planning their next ski adventure and booking a week or two for the upcoming
winter season, it’s time to look at the gear you’ll need to stay protected on the slopes. Now is a perfect time
to pick up some salopettes or some thermal undies, with many ski stores boasting end of season sales to
make room for the new trends. Do you need to invest in a helmet though? The answer is no, not if you don’t
want to. At the moment, helmets aren’t compulsory on the slopes so it’s completely your call whether you
purchase one or not.
Heading for the mountains, particularly on the more advanced runs in resorts such as Mayhofen and Chamonix, could mean that a helmet is a sensible option to take with you, but it’s by no means a mountain regulation. With a Neilson holiday in Mayhofen, for example, the advanced runs and off-piste opportunities would imply that a helmet is required to help protect you if you fall, but there are no actual laws that implore you to wear one.
But, should there be? You never know when an injury can happen. Even if you’re the best skier in the world, you still run the risk of colliding with someone else or coming a cropper and, without a helmet, you run the risk of causing serious damage to yourself. In 2009, the actress Natasha Richardson, died from a head injury which she incurred on a beginner’s slope, showing just how important head protection is.
While helmets aren’t compulsory, many boarders wear them anyway. Perhaps it’s part of the look, or maybe they’re just sensible. Overcrowded slopes increase the chance of collision and you just don’t know how able those around you really are.
Helmets are often compulsory for children to wear on the slopes, and rightly so, but at the moment, they’re an optional addition for grownups. Perhaps this will change in the future, but for now, it’s up to you whether you want the added protection.