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The Pros and Cons

Wearing Helmets when Skiing

by Deanna Power

Skiing is an exhilarating sport and a popular recreational activity for tens of millions of Americans. In fact, according to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), more than 51 million people of all ages and skill levels participate in skiing and snowboarding activities in the U.S. every year.

Like all sports however, skiing carries certain inherent risks, and every person that hits the slopes must weigh those risks, consider the benefits, and make informed choices. Just one of those choices is whether or not to wear a helmet.

Helmets are not required at most resorts or ski areas and only New Jersey currently has a law governing their use for children. Despite lacking regulatory oversight however, ski safety experts, neurosurgeons and other trauma specialists, and the National Safety Council (NSC) all recommend every person wears a proper helmet when skiing. 


The Evidence Supporting Helmet Effectiveness

According to studies conducted and/or reported by the NSAA, injuries at resorts and other ski areas have remained steady over the last decade or so. Between 2003 and 2013, fatalities from skiing and snowboarding accidents averaged 41.5 per year. Serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and other serious head traumas also remained steady, at a rate of about 44.7 per year.

These figures may at first make it appear that helmets aren’t having a significant effect on skier safety, but nothing could be further from the true. In fact, there is an ever-growing body of evidence showing helmets do reduce the risks of minor and major head injuries for skiers and snowboarders. More and more people participate in ski sports every year, and yet the number of injuries, particularly serious ones, hasn’t increased.

Helmet use during the same period rose significantly as well, with more than 67 percent of adults and 90 percent of children always wearing a helmet, according to NSAA. This in turn tells us that helmets are protecting many skiers that might otherwise suffer an injury.

The Pros and Cons of Helmet Use

You’ll find some strong opinions on both sides of the helmet argument. You’ll also find statistics and studies are often cited to establish these arguments, but statistics alone don’t tell the whole story.

In 2013 for example, the New York Times published an often-cited article regarding the ineffectiveness of ski helmets in preventing traumatic brain injuries. Although it’s true that a helmet can’t stop a severe trauma sustained in a high-velocity impact accident, they do prevent many other minor and serious injuries every day.

There are numerous reasons to choose to wear a helmet. For instance, wearing a helmet reduces your risks of skull fracture by more than 30 percent, according to a 2011 study published by News Medical journal. This same study also notes helmet use decreases skier chances of a more severe and potentially fatal, depressed skull fracture by 60 percent. 

Helmet use also prevents everyday injuries like bumps, bruises, scrapes, and cuts. These kinds of injuries, while not life threatening, can significantly affect your enjoyment of the sport. Donning a helmet lets you enjoy yourself with fewer everyday safety concerns. And if you’re a parent, you can rest a little easier, knowing your child’s injury risks are greatly reduced with a properly designed and fitted helmet.

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Council  Cup 2017

The Council Cup Race was held after a cancellation and rescheduling on Mar. 5th due to Mother Nature. 66 racers braved the unsure weather and slopes but had an enjoyabler day. Below are the highlights of the day.

Winner of the "A" Cup

Main Line Alpha Team with a time of 253.43 

The Team Members were: Meghan Silva, Stacy Kearny, Rick Durofchalk, Jim  Neel, Dave DeCampli, and Dave Moore.

Winner of the "B" Cup

Flying Dutchmen Team with a time of 270.09

The Team Members were: Suzanne Claypoole, Bernie Resch, Dave MacManamara, Mark Mosser and Mark Kilpatrick.

Fastest Woman: Stacy Kearny - Main Line - 66.96

Fastest Man: Bernie Resch - Flying Dutchmen - 60.23

Winner of the Master's Cup

 Mack "A" Team with a time of 272.67

The Team Members were: Sarah Leach, Diane Mazurek, Rick Wiedenhoefer, John Wenniger, Joe Mazurek and David Demko.

Fastest Woman: Sarah Leach - Mack - 73.02

Fastest Man: Tad Van Zoeren - Main Line - 63.50

Winner of the Snowboard Cup

Wissahickon Ski Club with a time of 444.53

The Team Members were:Katie Durrwachter Erno, Marisa Amirian, Andrew Dotzman, Sean Erno, Brian Amirian and John Leach. 

Fastest Woman: Katie Durrwachter Erno - Wissahickon - 124.84

Fastest Man: Patrick Jones - Wissahickon - 90.27

All Nastar awards were given at the end of awards.

North Penn has a photo album on their website of 96 pictures taken during the races at March 5th's council cup day.  So racers from a variety of clubs are in there, if anyone is hoping to find an action photo of themselves.

All they need to do is go to NPSC's website:  www.northpennskiclub.org

Then hit the "Photos" tab along the top of the home page, and then they will see an album entitled "Council Cup Day, March 2017".  Feel free to download, print and/or share!


Here is the rest of the story:

Under 60 Teams

Main Line Bravo - 268.05

Wissahickon #2 - 288.49

Wissahickon #3 - 369.76

Main Line and Upper Bucks - 289.08 DNQ

FDSC and Mack - 297.28 DNQ 

Masters Teams

Main Line Masters - 286.35

Mack "B" Team Wolf - 327.85

Wissahickon Snowboard #2 DNF

Second and Third Women: Meghan Silva - 71.64, Mallery Haas - 73.24

Second and Third Men: Dave Moore - 60.95, Bob Lett Jr. - 61.52

Second and Third Masters' Women: Ellen Reap - 85.58, Kim Jamison - 89.36

Second and Third Masters' Men: Dave Demko - 63.72, Randy Harper - 65.64

Second Snowboard Woman: Marissa Amirian - 215.19

Second and Third Snowboard Men: Todd Doebling - 94.01, John Leach - 104.21

50 Nastar Medals were given out: 4 Platinum, 16 Gold, 18 Silver and 12 Bronze 

 Pictures and awards can be found under the Events Tab for Council Race

Useful  Links

EPSC has collected a number of websites for skiers and snowboarders. Contact us if you have sites you want to add to this list.

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Inter-Club Winter Carnival 2018


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