Watch Your Nog(gin) this Winter

When I was invited to an event from the fine folks at Preventable (@preventable on twitter) last night on winter sport safety, I found the timing quite fortuitous. I’m heading to Sun Peaks over New Years for a ski vacation, and being the utter wuss that I am, I was definitely interested in knowing how to keep my self intact and injury free while I’m there.


The point behind the Preventable campaign (run by the Community Against Preventable Injuries) is to have us all thinking a bit more about how, when and where we place ourselves at risk. It’s all about what British Columbians can do to prevent injury, not what they shouldn’t do.

I’ll admit, I’ve been participating in snow sports in one form or another for the better part of the last two decades, and I’ve never ever worn a helmet. Biking, sure. Rollerblading, yep. Snowboarding? No.

It’s not for any good reason – I’ve just never thought I needed one. I don’t ride aggressively, I don’t go out in terrible conditions, I don’t bother going through the trees and I’ve never even sniffed at the back country.

Turns out, none of that actually matters.

You probably remember actress Natasha Richardson‘s fatal ski accident from last spring, caused by a seemingly innocuous fall on the bunny hill. It’s estimated by the Brain Injury Association of Canada that nearly 50% of all skiing and snowboarding head injuries could be prevented by simply wearing a helmet.

Of course there are plenty of other injuries one could sustain through an accident on the slopes – but why make brain injury one of them?

In the meantime, I’m now going to try and right this wrong (because I’m awfully fond of my brain, addled as it may be) and get a helmet to see me through this season’s round of adventures on the slopes.

Anyone have any recommendations for favourite helmet models (ASTM or Snell certified, natch) or local vendors?

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7 thoughts on “Watch Your Nog(gin) this Winter

  1. Tanya (aka NetChick)

    Hey Jen! I sent myself over to say hi today… fancy that 😉

    Sounds like a very interesting evening, that may even save someone’s life.

    What I find most bizarre is that most people I know that board will wear a helmet, but if they are skiing, they don’t. Weird.

    Anyhow, wish I could suggest a brand… I don’t have a lot of experience with them.
    .-= Tanya (aka NetChick)´s last blog ..HOLIDAY edition of the “Hello NetChick Sent Me” Meet n’ Greet! =-.

  2. Marina

    Was there any mention of wearing them for ice skating? It’s common for kids to wear them, but not adults. I would think we’re all at the same risk. I read this article yesterday about making helmets mandatory for all at a rink on PEI. I think making them mandatory is the only way to ensure safety. I’d feel silly being the only adult wearing one. Then again, I’d feel even more silly being the one with an easily preventable brain injury.
    .-= Marina´s last blog ..How Lazy Am I? =-.

  3. Charles Ravndal

    I remember that ski accident that killed Natasha. Poor Liam Neeson he was so devastated. I am always pretty careful when I am off skiing . Now I am planning to try snowboarding since I’ve never tried it before.

    Btw, Tanya sent me here!
    .-= Charles Ravndal´s last blog ..It’s Finally Over! =-.

  4. Nicole

    I actually love wearing my ski helmet because it keeps my head warmer and dryer than a toque and I find I can hear better than when I wear a hood. It’s annoying though that it’s another piece of equipment to lug around and store (we have SOOO many helmets between all of the various types of biking helmets, rock climbing, skiing… we need a closet just for helmets!). I got mine at MEC. As usual, they had a decent selection for good prices.

  5. Pingback: Preventable | Outdoor Vancouver

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