Falling is a part of skiing. There’s really no way around it, and if you don’t fall at least a few times, you aren’t pushing yourself to become better. But you should know how to fall without getting hurt, so your ski day or entire season doesn’t end early.
I’ve been skiing for decades, and I’ve taken more than my fair share of wipeouts over the years. I’ve learned through trial and error how to fall correctly to avoid injury. And believe it or not, there is a technique to falling that can come in very handy.
This post will tell you how to fall without getting hurt when skiing. You are going to fall, so you might as well learn how to fall correctly. I’ll give you some tips, tricks, and other vital information to keep in mind along the way.
Let’s get rolling.
Also Read: How to Get up after Falling on Skis
Skiing is a dangerous activity. And even the best skiers fall from time to time. Even if you are an expert, circumstances out of your control can cause you to fall, like having another skier run into you or bad conditions with poor visibility.
Learning how to fall can help prevent injury, but there is no way to guarantee that you won’t get hurt on the mountain. The best you can do is try to limit your chance of injury. And trust me, this is well worth the effort.
One simple thing that every skier can do to limit the risk of serious injury is to wear a helmet. These essential pieces of safety equipment are easy to find and pretty affordable, so there is no excuse for not having one on your head.
I’ll do my best to provide you with some critical tips and techniques that can help you avoid getting hurt, but this is by no means a guaranteed method. You need to always ski under control and within your ability levels to help reduce the risk of injury.
How to Fall Without Getting Hurt
There are a few different methods you can use to reduce the chance of getting hurt when you fall skiing. Wipeouts can happen quickly, and you don’t always have the time to think about how you will react.
With that in mind, you might want to consider practicing falling. You read that right. It might sound weird, but the more times you fall with proper technique, the more instinctual it will become. If you do it enough, you will just react when you fall.
You can practice all of the techniques I’m about to show you while skiing. Just do it on a gentle slope and ideally with soft snow conditions if you have access to this.
And here’s a good video showing some of the techniques I’m about to discuss.
Method 1 – Don’t Resist It (aka Fall Like a Baby)
Have you ever watched a child take a fall on skis or really in any situation? They have a way of simply rolling with things and not resisting the fall. This skill seems to fade as we get older, but if you can learn to fall like a baby, it can help you from getting hurt.
This means that you don’t want to tense up and get stiff when you are about to take a fall. You want to keep your body loose and flexible so you can adapt and react. The more you resist, the more likely you’ll get injured.
This is easier said than done, but I promise it’s a valuable skill to learn. You can even practice it without having skis on by simply trying a somersault in your yard or living room.
Try a somersault with your body very tense and stiff, and then try it again when you are very relaxed. You’ll notice a big difference in how your body handles the movement. Then keep this in mind the next time you fall when skiing.
Method 2 – How to Fall on Your Side
Many wipeouts occur when you lose balance or edge control when making a turn. This results in you falling on your side, and there is a right way to do this to limit injury.
When you fall on your side, you don’t want to fall directly on your shoulder or have your arm completely extended. You also don’t want to try and break your fall with your hands. If you try to avoid the fall with your hands or shoulders, you will get hurt.
Instead, you need to try to anticipate the fall with the entire side of your body and kind of roll into the fall. As you fall, you can roll over to get your skis out in front of you again. This will help you get oriented properly and get back on your feet.
Method 3 – How to Fall on Your Back
Falling on your back is another common way to fall on skis. This can happen when you are on a steep slope, and if you don’t fall correctly, you will continue to slide down the mountain, potentially leading to injury.
When you fall on your back, you want to try and get your feet and skis back around as quickly as possible so you can self-arrest and stop sliding.
To do this, try to make a roll or backward somersault motion to get your feet below you on the downhill side of the slope. Once you have your feet beneath you, you can dig in your edges or your boots (if you lost your skis) and come to a controlled stop.
Method 4 – How to Fall on Your Front
In my experience, falling on your front isn’t as common as falling on your side or back. However, it can happen more frequently if you spend a lot of time in the terrain park because of the tricks or maneuvers you might attempt.
When falling on your front, you want to try to avoid hitting your face in the snow. You can easily get a broken nose or even knock some teeth out if you don’t.
The best way to fall on your front is to kind of roll or somersault into the fall. Remember my lesson on how to fall like a baby from the previous sections? Well, use that tip here to absorb the impact and roll from your front onto your back.
Regardless of what type of fall you end up doing, the best course of action is trying to gain control and come to a complete stop as quickly as possible. The longer you are sliding the snow, the more chance you have of getting hurt.
Falling can be scary, but it’s a regular aspect of everyday skiing. The better you can get at falling, the less likely you will be injured when you fall. It takes some time to get used to, but all of the falling techniques shown in this post can help you out.
And also, remember that injuries happen, even if you know how to fall correctly. If you get injured, know that keeping a good mental attitude will help you heal better and get you back on the snow.