OT: Ski Helmets

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    Posted: 19 March 2009 09:27 PM #16

    rezonate - 19 March 2009 09:59 PM

    Nice topic. Back when I was rock climbing, I used to get ribbed by the other climbers for wearing a helmet. Until the day one of the lead climbers sent a couple hundred kilos of rock headed our way. Took a couple of hits myself, thankfully nobody was seriously injured. The next weekend there were quite a few stylish helmets on the pitch.  Same thing I say to people who gripe about the ‘high’ cost of a good climbing rope: Is that $50 you save worth the cost of your LIFE? Hey man, your choice.

    I’d hate to see the government mandate it, but at the same time you should not expect them to pay for 50 more years of life support either, should you choose to go without a helmet. (Darn libertarians on the ‘board! smile )

    This same logic can only lead to the ban on all such activity. Anything that may cause bodily harm must be regulated or prohibited. If someone wants to take part in activities that could be considered self-destructive, without the proper safety equipment, then go for it. But if injured and taken to the hospital, then only minimum treatment is provided. Once government is invited in, it becomes almost impossible to get them out.



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    Posted: 20 March 2009 12:40 AM #17

    awcabot - 19 March 2009 10:58 PM

    Rock climbing, mountain biking or horse riding are dangerous pursuits and warrant safety measures. But skiing? Come on, you fall on snow, fluffy stuff. Injuries due to twisted knees are far more likely (happened to me) or hypothermia, but head injuries? Unless you are doing some wild stuff, skiing is slightly more dangerous than walking across the street.

    I never saw someone wearing a ski helmet in the Alps.

    I hate to drag out the thread forever, so perhaps we can agree to disagree, but…. It is easy to reach speeds when downhill skiing that are common when riding a motorcycle. Here in Michigan, snow is not usually “fluffy” on a ski slope. There are ice, trees, rocks, lift towers, other skiers, their skis or boards, etc. ad infinitum… The speed one reaches when walking across the street is significantly less than that reached while skiing, even on the bunny hill. If you look at it from the standpoint of kinetic energy, as your velocity increases, the KE increases as velocity squared. There is *much* more energy involved in a higher speed collision. Therefore, much easier to sustain damage to the skull or soft tissues of the brain. I tend to take a libertarian stance here, it is personal choice. I believe an educated choice to manage the risk is to wear a helmet for any activity beyond running speed, else natural selection will make the choice for you.

  • Posted: 20 March 2009 01:44 AM #18

    Yeah when this was said:
    “But skiing? Come on, you fall on snow, fluffy stuff.”
    I had to post again (i don’t want to drag it on either! In fact i barely ever post - see my post count?).

    Trees - not fluffy, ice - not fluffy, rocks -not fluffy, snowboarders and fellow skiers - not fluffy.
    Whatever the lady in question tragically fell on? Not fluffy either I’ll warrant.

    And wild skiing? All these risks can be found on an intermediate run.

    Not to mention an accident I witnessed on a chute (the “wild stuff”) where a middle aged lady fell around 200 meters at high speed over and down rocks. Let me tell you, her helmet was a mess.
    She was fine.
    Again, i’m not necessarily for mandatory use - but this is far from bubble wrap.

    I believe in many kid’s ski schools in Canada helmets are compulsory.

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    Posted: 20 March 2009 12:21 PM #19

    Hopefully, the last post from me on this. Time Magazine has an article on line. I believe it adds perspective to this discussion.

    Could a Helmet Have Saved Natasha Richardson?