or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Helmets & Terrain Parks?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
On Saturday AM (a very firm morning), within 2 hours of the mountain being open, there were 2 serious injuries in the terrain park (which was then closed for the remainder of the day). One of the injuries was a very serious head injury where the person was not wearing a helmet.

I have been thinking about this, and I wondered if making some sort of helmet requirement for use of the terrain park, might be a viable option to help minimize the potential for these awful injuries?

I realize that many may be of the opinion that if a person does not care enough about themselves to wear a helmet while putting themselves at increased risk for a serious injury, then that is their choice.

I speculate that some of these people (especially the younger ones) might not ever really think of how seriously they could be injured (including losing their life).

I understand helmets may not prevent death, but if it could mean the difference between a concussion vs a skull fracture...why not make them mandatory?

The ski area could make them available for rental inexpensively, for those who want to go in the terrain park and do not have one. Who knows, maybe those who rent a helmet for the day, will find that they like their helmet, and go buy one?!?

The reason I focus on the terrain park, is that I suspect that the injury rates are much higher coming from terrain parks,(per capita) then from the rest of the mountain.

Anyway, it really saddens me to think about how many serious head injuries, (and perhaps deaths) might be prevented with the simple addition of a helmet.

Any thoughts?
post #2 of 12
Age old debate on what a person should be able to decide for themselves vs. what we need government to tell us. Kids are a tough one, but I would say that is where parents have responsibility for making sure their kids are properly equipped.
post #3 of 12
Please, no mandatory helmet policy.
I would however go for BIG warning signs at the entrace to all parks.
State the obvious.
Skiing in a terrain park is potentially hazardous.
Helmets are always recommended for this area.
Ski at your own risk.
Ski within you abilty.

The same people that want mandatory helmet laws on the ski hill are the same people that cannot control thier own children from watching TV programs not suited for kids.
If people would parent their kids instead of wanting the government to do it we would live in a much better place.

You have the control, use it.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Trust me when I say this...I am NOT one who is generally in favor of government regulating my life and/or my chioces more than it already does! :

I was just kind of wondering "with my keyboard" if there might be a way to lessen the potential for the serious head injuries in the terrain parks, which might be a better solution than the way things are right now?!?

The only solution I could think of was possibly some sort of helmet requirement. I know regulating can be an ugly proposition, and I was hoping that someone here might have some other, perhaps more inspired solution than that!

As for children, the question seems even more far reaching when addressing that aspect of it...

One would hope that parent(s) not only know what activities their children are participating in, but that they also know the risks involved with those activities.
However, I have to wonder if parent(s) (especially those who do not participate in the sport), know what a terrain park is, and what people are doing in them?

So, I guess one supposition could be if parent(s) know and approve of the activity their child is participating in, then even if the potential risk of serious injury (& possibly death) is there, no further action to minimize this risk (eg, helmet requirement) should be necessary...the signage should be sufficient?

And, I guess a second supposition could be if parent(s) do not understand the sport, terrain park (what it is used for), and the inherent risks involved...would it then be acceptable to require the child to wear a helmet to enter the terrain park?

Obviously I do not know the answers, and I am not trying to be difficult in any way. I just posted this looking for some inspiration from the wealth of knowledge here!

Maybe time is all that is needed. As more & more people choose to wear helmets, perhaps the problem will minimize over time? But, it brings me back to the quandry...do you give children the choice?

I am not looking at this from a legal perspective (as I am so obviously not a lawyer). I guess it just pains me to know that some of these serious head injuries (and possibly fatalities) might have been prevented with the use of a helmet.
post #5 of 12
Okay, from what I've seen, helmets don't help all that much. The head related injuries from off-axis flips and spins are of such force that trauma still occurs albeit the telltale bloodstain on the transition is missing. Helmets seem to perform most effectively with glancing blows on rails and such. That being said, most jibbers seem to land on their face from a hooked edge, so unless a full face helmet is required, you won't stop that either.

I think the major problem is terrain park design. Jumps and such are built during certain snow conditions and are poorly maintained to accomodate changes in speed and texture which result in under or overshot landings (the jibber-killer).

There is a serious lack of "training" jumps too. For some reason EVERYTHING has to be a 40°+ kicker. ?!? Not quite as detrimental to boarders, but it's killing inexperienced skiers! There's something inherently wrong with getting booted 10 feet in the air on a tabletop only to come down 10 feet from the lip, on the flat top, WAY before the runout, and leaving a concave bombhole for the next poor sucker to compress their spine into.

Lastly, the riders should not be allowed to modify the jumps. It seems to be done for the last paragraph's reason and not for the one preceeding it. "Higher is better".

Enough soapbox.

I think there should be mandatory, qualified staff to be always present and maintain the park just like the liftees required at the top and bottom of the chairs.

Maybe it's a pipedream (pardon the pun), but it IS just my matter-of-fact opinion. I'm still pumped about the hockey golds...

post #6 of 12
Serenity, by no means did I think you were being difficult and my response was not aimed at you, just the proposition itself.

I wear a helmet every day, and am in favor of ski schools requiring all children's classes (under 10, 12?) and thier instructors to wear a helmet.

I remeber back when I was under 18 and played all the sports, my parents had to sign the waiver having to do with serious injury. When I brought home the Lacross form it was the only one that stated "...serious injury or DEATH" My mon flipped a pancake over that one, but I still managed to get her to sign it.

I think the parents have the same type of form to sign when setting up ski lessons for the kid. What should be added to these forms for ski school buses and lessons is a statement about the advantages of wearing a helmet and how it could protect your child from head injuries. Big and bold, right above where the parent needs to sign.


If you can get the kids to wear a helmet from their first day, by time they are old and experienced enough to hit the park it will be second nature to wear a helmet.

Now the issue is with the current group in the park. Post the sign about the recommendation of helmets at the entrance to the park for all to see. Let one or two of their buddies get a concussion or get knocked out and then maybe they will see the light and start wearing helmets.

I was a bit dissapointed that during the olympics they did not require the mens half-pipe participants to wear a helmet. All of the women did, but boys will be boys (dumb) I guess.

I just do not want to see a mandatory helmet law/requirement for skiing in general.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 05, 2002 07:50 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Argus ]</font>
post #7 of 12
My 2c worth, that I have said in other posts about this:

1. If you run a ski area in the US/Canada you would be crazy not to make helmets compulsory in light of the litigious culture there.
2. I don't think they should be compulsory at all. Each to their own. It is like saying helmets should be compulsory in an area of chutes and cliff bands.

I rest.
post #8 of 12
No to the helmets.

1. While they might lessen a serious head injury, the greatly reduce the awareness of surrounding traffic, through muffling of sound.

2. If your area has a regulated superpark/expert park with pro-level jumps, those people should be making their own decisions. Any lower level parks should have jumps that are properly shaped, with (relatively) steep, long landings that are maintained, just as the expert park would have, to help prevent serious landing impacts.

3. Teenagers have to accept some responablity, right? If someone going to practice inverts/off-axis spins on hard packed snow/ice, they deserve to get some sense knocked into them if they aren't wearing a helmet. Otherwise, normal jumping in a terrain park is no more dangerous than skiing fast on an expert trail.

post #9 of 12
I 100% disagree that helmets..the greatly reduce the awareness of surrounding traffic, through muffling of sound.
Yes, if you wear a full ear coverage helmet that can be true, but wear a shorty/chopper style helmet and the material covering your ears is no thicker than wearing a hat.

I like wearing my helmet, it is comfortable, warm, and gives me rock star powers.
post #10 of 12
I vehemently disagree with making helmets MANDATORY. Too much government is a bad thing.

At the same time I find any arguments against using helmets to be absurd.

I do believe ski areas have the right to require helmets for the use of their parks.

Reminds me of the two lawyers who refused to sign the waiver at CMH one Sunday morning. They seemed to think the waiver was not worth the paper it was printed on. As the guide was removing their skis from the basket on the heli they asked "what are you doing?". It seemed obvious to the rest of us. They signed the waiver and the heli took off.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Powder Junkie -

That was more along the lines of what I was thinking. Ski areas, on an individual basis, coming up with their own helmet policy with respect to the terrain parks.

No government oversight...please! Just individual Ski Area policy.

I dunno, sometimes it seems awfully hard to come up with any guidelines/policies which would make everyone happy. :

Part of me says if you don't want to wear a helmet, then don't...but then I think about how devastating a serious head injury is, and wonder...is there a better way? :
post #12 of 12
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Serenity:

Part of me says if you don't want to wear a helmet, then don't...but then I think about how devastating a serious head injury is, and wonder...is there a better way? :

You cannot protect people from themselves. Making helmet laws only makes it macho for the "rebels" to not wear them. I have friends who refused to wear avy beacons in the past because they might be tempted to ski something that was unsafe. Then they saw some major slides inside the area boundaries. Many people do not understand that the "I'm good enough that I don't need (fill in you favorite piece of safety equipment here)" is not a valid argument. They simply do not grasp the concept of an "accident".
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion