As snow has swept our country the week and we edge closer to Christmas, it is also the time of the year that I am sure many of you (including myself) have been waiting for, the start of the ski season! Yay!!
So if you are lucky enough to be off to Val D’sere or Les Trois Vallees or even further afield to Mammoth or Whistler, we have compiled some tips that are sure to help you have a happy and safe trip!
Ski/snowboard boots -
This is probably the most important part of equipment you will use on the slopes! It is vital that your boots fit you properly. Always get them fitted by a professional (Paul and Dan at Snowtrax Store in Christchurch are particularly good!). Your feet not only hold your whole body up when skiing/boarding but also act as your brakes and shock absorbers. Remember, you can get your boots heat moulded and adjusted to fit your feet correctly. Boots should be able to keep your ankle firmly in place, have a snug toe box but not too tight and allow your ankle to flex.
To help the boots to be even more effective, most people would benefit from footbeds/orthotics. These can be fitted in our clinic by our trained podiatrist Kristina. This will not only enable the best fit of your boots but also prevent injury, sprains and strains to your feet and ankles as well as providing the shock absorbing factor they need.
Ski socks -
Always wear one pair of good quality, thin, ski socks. Never layer socks up. This will help to prevent blisters, bruising and chill blains. A good sock will help to absorb the moisture from your feet to keep them dry, but also keep them warm enough in the freezing temperatures! Try to also avoid cotton socks.
Take lessons. Take lots and lots of lessons! And ensure you get lots of practice. I appreciate that going to the dry slope in the UK isn’t quite as glamorous as the mountains, but correct technique will help your muscles work more effectively in the cold, reducing fatigue and making you less prone to injury.
Most importantly, ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET! Stay safe, and have lots and lots of fun!