Falling during skiing is something that can happen to anyone, from a beginner to advanced skiers or even professionals. That is why it is recommended to learn how to fall on skis. In this article, we’ll show you the ways to fall and how to get up if it happens so you do your best to stay unharmed. Most often this will be more than enough to keep you safe, though sometimes failing can be painful, especially if it happens when you achieve great speed.
The best way to prevent injuries is to prevent the fall itself. Although sometimes inevitable, falling can be prevented by simply trying to land with your skis on the ground. This will help when you have time to do it, but most often the falling occurs when a skier loses balance and lands on the side, back, or front.
If it is not possible to land on skis, with these techniques you’ll minimize the chances of any significant damage. And even if you have the chance to fall only on one ski, it will cushion the impact and help you regain control easier because the weight won’t only be spread on your leg and body, but on your skis, also.
Ski Falling Techniques
Remember, falling means not only you don’t have much time to react, but also that you’ve lost control over your body and all you can do is to minimize the damage.
The key thing that will keep you safe even when falling is to know how to spread the weight so the impact doesn’t cause too much stress. Four techniques can be used to achieve this.
1. Side Landing
One of the crucial parts of falling to your side is hitting the floor with a straight arm. This way you’ll lower the impact on your hip and your head. This technique is mostly used in above mentioned martial arts. Your arm should be straight, your leg outstretched. Make sure your elbow, wrist, and hand are not the ones you’ll land on.
2. Back Landing
This is probably the most dangerous landing mostly because you won’t be able to see where you’re landing, but also because it is a bit harder to control your body. When you have to fall onto your back, try to roll and use your hands to lower the impact by placing them straight by your side. Don’t use your elbow, wrist, or hand to catch the fall because you could break them.
3. Front Landing
Sometimes when you lose your balance you won’t be able to turn and you’ll have to land with your front side. With this type of falling you’ll have to make sure not to fall on your face. That’s why you should try to place most of the weight onto your arms to protect your nose, teeth, and head. Also, make sure not to fall directly on your elbow or wrist. Place your arms straight by your side and use your forearm instead.
4. Front Roll
Front roll is another technique you’ll be able to learn and master on a martial arts course and it is best for powder falls after a drop or a jump when for whatever reason you’re not able to continue skiing and you get ejected by the ski bindings. By using forward-moving force after you lose your balance, simply roll and get back to your feet when done. This technique is the safest when done on fresh powder.
This part of the fall is equally important and can be quite challenging, and if you do it wrong, you may end up getting injured.
With Skis On
If your skis are still on after your fall, here’s how to get up:
- Take the pole straps off
- Untangle skis
- Make sure your skis are sideways to prevent possible movement while your legs are beneath you
- Bring your skis together
- Slowly move yourself up using your hands’ strength while making sure to keep balance
- Finish up by crouching over skis using forward bend, and push yourself away
With Skis Off
Sometimes falling will result in your skis being thrown off by ski bindings because of the pressure to avoid injuries, so besides getting up you’ll have to worry about putting your skis back on.
Here’s how to get up with your skis off:
- Take your skis and place them sideways to the mountain to make sure they don’t take off
- Stand below them
- The first ski you should put on is the downhill one
- Edge the ski, then put on the uphill one
You could also check our more detailed guide on how to get up after fall.
Falling can be scary, but whatever happens, do your absolute best to stay calm. This way you’ll give yourself the chance to react while also lowering the chance of making things worse by making a sudden movement in a moment of despair.
All of these techniques can be practiced in a controlled environment like a gym. The easiest way to do it is to go to a martial arts course. One of the first and most important things they learn is how to fall with minimum impact, so you could check your local gyms or sport centers for martial arts courses.
How To Slow Your Fall Down
Slowing after fall is different in different situations. If you ski on a steep slope with many dangerous drops or trees, you’ll have to stop as soon as possible. The more you continue to move, the bigger the risk you’ll fall from a cliff or run into a tree or a rock formation, so try digging your elbows or forearms into the snow. This way you’ll slow your fall down and regain control over your body.
On the other hand, if you’ve fallen on a groomed track, don’t use your arms because you can break them or tore your ligaments. Instead, just relax your body and let the physics do its work by using friction to slow you down.
How To Prevent Falling Down
First of all, there is no way to completely remove the chances of falling. It happens to everyone, which is why it is important to learn how to fall. But, what you could do is to learn how to lower the chance of falling:
- Take your time. Skiing is a skill that requires time and dedication. Take it and don’t try to rush things. Skiing is fun as long as you’re safe and sound at the end of the day, so be patient and learn slowly but surely.
- Learn how to stop on skis.
- Learn how to control your speed.
- Learn how to slow down.
- Parallel skiing is one of the main skiing techniques and you should practice until you learn how to do it well.
Know Your Limits And Inform Yourself
To prevent falling, there are also some other things you could do. First of all, learn and respect your limits. Don’t go to more complicated tracks before you learn all the maneuvering tricks and how to turn at speed.
You should start your skiing career on the green slopes until you master the basics. When you learn how to stop and control your speed, move to blue slopes, and as you upgrade your knowledge, try the harder tracks, but not before you’ve completely mastered the basic ones.
It is equally important to inform yourself about the track. The marks used for different track difficulties may differ from place to place.
For instance, in the US and Canada tracks are described by the following rating symbols:
- The green circle for tracks with slopes up to a gradient of 25%.
- The blue square is used for slopes that go from 25 – 40%.
- The black diamond is used to rate slopes above 40%.
- The double black diamond is used for slopes with a gradient larger than 50%.
On the other hand, Europe and the rest of the world outside the USA and Canada use the following rating symbols:
- The green circle is used for slopes that go from 0-20%.
- The blue circle is used for slopes that go from 20-30%.
- The red circle is used for slopes that go from 30-45%.
- The black circle is used for slopes above 45%.
When To Fall Intentionally
The key to skiing is to stay on your skis, but sometimes it is better to fall on purpose than to stay on your skis. This is useful when you feel you’ve lost control and are unable to slow down or to make a turn. You’ll do it by leaning backward and easily falling to your back.
There are also a few things you can do that will help you minimize the chance of falling or the effect of the impact and improve your overall skiing safety:
- Prepare yourself both physically and mentally. Workout and stretch regularly and make sure your body is in good condition and prepared to endure the effort.
- Make sure your equipment fits nicely.
- Get a good instructor and closely follow the lessons, and combine it with the online ski instruction videos.
- Always use ski goggles and a helmet.
- Rest! If you don’t let your body regenerate, you’ll eventually ruin your trip by causing injury.
- Don’t ski alone.
- Avoid off-piste skiing if you’re a beginner. If not and would love to try it out, then read our guide on what to expect when skiing off-piste.
Globo Surf Overview
If you ski, you’ll fall. That is something you can’t skip or change, and falling is there to help us learn faster. It can also be funny and bring lots of laughter to us and our companions, but only if done the way that won’t get you hurt. With this article, you’ll know everything there is to be known that will help you stay safe when it does happen. And make sure not to make any of these most common skiing mistakes!
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- How To Fall On Skis & NOT Hurt Yourself, newtoski.com