The mornings are getting crisp and retailers are starting to think snow. It will only be a couple-ish months until were sliding around at our favorite resort. Until then, we’ll be checking out this year’s sexy skis or figuring out which hardshell best matches your pants…yes, the struggle is real.
One less exciting, yet critical piece of gear is the helmet. It seems that the importance of protecting your brain is all over the news and social media these days. As scientists learn more and more about the brain injuries, they are more and more frightening. There are plenty of stories of horror stories from the National Football League of former players with horrendous long-term symptoms that include severe depression, memory loss, and cognitive function.
Which begs the question, is it reasonable to think that helmets will soon be required at all ski hills? It doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility. With all of the rules and restrictions being implemented at resorts each season, requiring a helmet would certainly be the least offensive of them.
Beginner and intermediate skiers try their best to weave their way down crowded and frequently icy slopes all day long. They pizza and french fry their way through the throngs of other patrons who are limited to the “mellower” terrain. The more experienced skiers are going mach-chicken(really fast) as they work their way back to the lift for the next lap.
Then, you think about how dangerous these activities are for us ski-obsessed folks. We casually duck in and out the trees, bonk stumps, drop cornices and carve in and out of tourists. Yet, we have all crashed at blistering speeds from simply not paying attention or employing too much send.
Ski resorts in general carry loads of insurance to deal with the hundreds of accidents they see per year. It’s surprising that these insurance carriers don’t require brain protectors.
We all have had conversations with that old-timer on the ski lift who volunteers the fact that he thinks he doesn’t need a helmet. By God, he grew up skiing in a trench coat, Wranglers, and oven mitts so he doesn’t “need no stinkin’ helmet”.
The State of New Jersey introduced a mandatory helmet policy for all skiers and snowboarders for the 2017/2018 ski season. Will others follow suit?