Ski Helmets Mandatory at Winter Park Resort?

I came across an article this morning in the Aspen Times about the popularity and use of ski helmets.  In  a nutshell the old and young are being smart and the rebellious late teens and early twenties are shunning the  use of the ski helmet.

This year all Winter Park Resort ski school employees and students are required to wear the brain saving head buckets.  At all Vail resorts ski patrol and all on mountain resort employees are required to wear helmets.  Is the inevitable coming to Winter Park Resort?  I’m thinking yes especially if the insurance companies have anything to do with it.

Nationally nearly half of all skiers and riders wore helmets last season, according to an annual demographic survey performed by members of the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA). Usage climbed to 48 percent in 2008-09 from 43 percent the season before.  The latest national survey showed 77 percent of children 9 years old and younger wear helmets, as do two-thirds of those between 10 and 14. On the other end of the age spectrum, 63 percent of adults ages 65 and older wear ski helmets.  Only about one-in-three skiers and riders between ages 18 and 24 wore helmets last season.

At a New Years Eve Party at our neighbors House, the Glancy’s, a discussion about ski helmet use with several Winter Park and Sol Vista Ski Patrol employees ensued.  My point was why wouldn’t all on mountain employees want to wear ski helmets for extra protection.  They are warm and offer protection from wayward tree branches and out of control skiers/boarders.  The patrollers retort was that ski helmets only offer protection up to 10 miles an hour and the average skier skies at over 25 miles per hour.  And if the resorts wanted employees to wear helmets then the resort should bear the cost of the helmet.

My final say on the ski helmet issue, not only for patrollers but for all, is if the helmet offers some protection than that is better than none.  It also shows that not wearing a helmet is not a status symbol on the slopes.

So put your head in a brain bucket and try to avoid having someone wipe your rear end for the rest of your life after a ski crash.

January 4th, 2010

Posted In: Skiing & Snowboarding

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