Gretchen Reynolds, in an article for the New York Times, explores new research on snowsports enthusiasts wearing (or not wearing) helmets. The research busts several myths about wearing helmets, including who wears them and how they impact (ha, ha) sight and sound. Some of the least likely people to wear helmets are beginners and intermediates, who never expect to fall. Some of the most likely people to wear helmets are the experts. We know that anyone can fall. Even USAFA cadets. The conclusion: helmets are an all-around great idea.
One study concluded that the most likely person to hurt herself snowboarding is a female beginner. As a ski instructor, I suspect this is because many female beginners are overly-cautious, tensed-up, and reluctant to slide. Hey, I’ve been there. Put me on a bumpy-enough slope, and I am still there. My advice to women is to find a patient, professional instructor, stay on slopes that are comfortable to just an eensy bit harder than comfortable, breathe, and get that first fall out of the way. Instead of “Everybody Talks,” hum “Everybody Falls.” If you hum, you have to breathe. And just to make sure — WEAR A HELMET.