All About Landing: Falling the Right Way When Skiing

If you’re new to skiing, you’ll surely fall on your buttocks a few times or perhaps a lot. Don’t fret, though, since it’s the natural way to learn how to ski. Every skier before you fell a few times first before becoming an expert.

However, falling can cause injuries if done wrong. If you want to minimize the risk of injuries, get yourself a Giro Range MIPS helmet to protect your head at all times, and learn how to fall the right way.

Side Landing

A lot of beginner skiers fall on their sides. Before you start practicing falling on your side, make sure that the slope you’re skiing on is for newbies. Don’t attempt skiing on slopes that are for intermediates and advanced skiers.

Remember to straighten your arm and extend your leg. Don’t bend your elbow, and don’t tense your muscles too much. If you’ve seen judo practitioners (judokas) spar, try watching the one who gets thrown to the floor. You’ll notice that person extending his arms and even slapping the floor as he hits it.

The reason for this is that when the body hits the floor and your tendency is to bend your elbow to resist the fall, you’ll likely break your elbow. On the other hand, if you straighten your arms, they will cushion your fall. Also, if you don’t tense your muscles, your body is more relaxed, and it will hit the snow more lightly.

Front Landing

If you’re going to fall face first, then you should protect your face and head. Shield them with your hands, and use your forearms to cushion your fall.

Again, don’t tense your muscles too much because if your body is relaxed, it will fall more lightly on the snow. Don’t extend your arms to brace yourself for the fall. Just shield your face with your hands and let your forearms cushion your fall.

Back Landing

Landing on your back is more common among snowboarders because they slide on their sides. When they lose balance, they fall on either their backs or their faces. So, if you’re snowboarding, you should prepare yourself for a back landing.

If you’re about to fall on your back, don’t try to extend your arms backwards to catch your fall. You could dislocate your shoulders, break your elbows or even your hands.

Instead, arch your head forward a little bit, relax your back, extend your arms like you’re forming the letter ‘T’ and slap the snow as soon as you hit it. As mentioned earlier, this is a move done by most judokas when they hit the floor on their backs. It’s to cushion the impact and protect the head from hitting the floor.

Front Rolling

snowboarder jumping off a ridge of snow being filmed from a helicopter

This kind of fall often happens when a skier jumps off a ski lift or attempts a jump that fails and gets ejected from his skis. If this happens to you, it’s important to note where your arms and legs should go to minimize any injuries.

Try to perform a front somersault with your arms bent slightly. Form into a ball and roll forward. This will lessen the impact and minimize any risk of injuries.

Expect to fall frequently, especially if you’re new to skiing. But as long as you know how to fall properly, you won’t encounter any major injury that will prevent you from enjoying this winter pastime.

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