By Ferdi Burger on 12 November 2013

Our favourite Winter Olympian, Chemmy Alcott, said in our last post how her passion pushes her to go up against the dangers involved in Alpine Skiing, and she’s been up against plenty of obstacles, including another leg break recently in late August. “Despite having broken my leg 164 days out from the biggest day of my life, I will be there!” Follow her on the #RoadToSochi on her instagram feed.

Watch a video on how a helmet saved this racer from injury.

As safety is Chemmy’s top priority, we asked her to give us her top safety tips during a recent visit to the Jack Wolfskin store in Covent Garden. “I’m very good at pushing myself and my body, going at speeds most people would gasp at, but bizarrely for someone who does the sport I do, I’m very much a control freak.”

Chemmy’s Ski Safety Tips:

  • Get fit to ski – Physically prepare yourself before you go on holiday. This can massively reduce the likelihood of injury. (Check back on this blog for her “Top 5 Exercises to Get Ready to Ski” coming very soon)
  • Don’t rush from the lifts – There is a big issue of crowded pistes. Lifts are getting better and becoming more efficient at delivering people to the slope, so when you get off, bide your time. If you wait a couple more minutes to get a clear piste, then that’s golden.
  • Ski within your ability – You see beginners really trying to charge down the slopes but it’s taken me 28 years to go 92 miles an hour, so go at the speed you can control.
  • Only stop where you can be seen – The number of people I hear who get injured because they’ve gone over a rise; they think it’s too steep, so they stop and sit down in the middle of the piste. You don’t know what’s happening behind you, and people are going to fly over the rise and hit you right in the back of your head. If you have to stop because it’s steep, pull over on the side of the piste.
  • Wear a helmet – On the slopes I always advocate wearing helmets. You might be an excellent ski racer but someone might crash into you, so having a helmet on is essential at all times.

The latest Columbus Direct research found that half of Brits do NOT wear or carry any safety gear while skiing or snowboarding, and that only 20% of Brits would wear a helmet if their insurer insisted on it.

And not even Chemmy can always stay on her feet!

Greg Lawson, Head of Retail at Columbus Direct says, “We have enhanced our winter sports insurance offering. In addition to increasing our levels of cover, we clarified the cover for skiing or snowboarding off-piste by covering the activity as long as it is within resort boundaries. We have also added more adventurous activities such as heli-skiing and snowcat skiing and also provide cover for people using the, increasingly popular, snow parks.”

Columbus Direct has a couple extra tips for you.

  • Consider all your activities – Take time to consider all the types of activities you will do on your ski/snowboarding holiday. For example, if you plan to go heli-skiing or even ice-skating, then these activities may require you to declare this.
  • Know your limits – The après ski is almost as important as time on the slopes, just remember that most policies exclude claims arising when people are under the influence of alcohol.

We can’t wait to watch Team GB at Sochi in February. If anyone is going to Sochi, we’d love to hear from you. Email/Facebook/Tweet us your plans and we’ll keep in touch to find out how it went. A personal account and pics of your holiday adventure to support Team GB would be great to share on our blog and Facebook page.

Youtube – Ski Accidents

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