Terrain Park Safety
Due to the increase in popularity of terrain parks and the growing number of snowboard and skiing enthusiasts, the National Ski Areas Association has stepped in to prevent serious injuries by implementing the Smart Style Terrain Park Safety Initiative. They have reached out to all mountain ski resorts, terrain parks and the entire industry that promotes free style riding. The awareness and education in safety is necessary, as snow sport has started to appeal to younger skiers and boarders.
Terrain parks that have half pipes and quarter pipes have begun to divide their parks into various difficulty levels, such as beginner, intermediate and advanced. This action as already ensured that safety measures have been implemented. The promotion of the Smart Style program by means of stickers, posters and other advertising methods, tries to promote three simple messages: “Look before you leap”, “Easy style does it” and “Respect gets respect”.
The “Look before you leap” message is to remind riders and boarders to ensure that they know the jumps that they are taking and to ensure that they confident that they can make the landing. “Easy style does it” encourages the younger and beginner boarders and skiers that they should start with the basics and gradually work their way up to more difficult jumps and tricks. Lastly, the “Respect gets respect” message is to remind everyone that uses the terrain park, no matter how advanced they are, to take the other skiers and boarders into consideration and to be patient with others using the terrain.
Other safety measures that are being promoted, and many parents are being educated on the use of protective gear such as helmets. Snow sport enthusiasts should also ensure they can control themselves on the slopes and be able of avoiding collisions with people and obstacles. Skiers should take responsibility for following “right of way” rules when approaching boarders and skiers. For boarders it is important that they always ensure that the landing zone is clear before launching a jump. Riders and skiers are also advised to check their equipment and make sure that it is remove from areas where it may cause an obstruction or safety hazard to others. Another precaution to take is to adhere to the signs and warnings that are posted around the park.
Many winter snow parks have designed their facilities to promote safety and most try to use alternative materials to steel to construct their jumps and pipes. Instituting these safety measures will help ensure that terrain parks will have a future and not be closed due to injuries and safety concerns. The Smart Style Terrain Park Safety is an example of one program that was instituted for the benefit of the parks and for those who follow the rules will be safer on the slopes.