Tips to avoid powder injuries

Injuries among skiers in the first week and a-half of the season have been mainly "frost injuries", St John Wakatipu operations team manager Alana Reid says.

These included broken and sprained wrists, which occurred when skiers and snowboarders put their arms out to break their falls, and broken collarbones, Ms Reid said.

However, with the long-awaited arrival of fresh snow, Ms Reid said these became less common.

They were replaced by knee and ankle "powder injuries", she said.

"The snow is softer, so feet and knees stop [as the snow board or skis catch on the snow], but the rest of the body keeps going." Fresh powder increased people's confidence, so their speed increased on the slopes, resulting in injuries from crashes.

While skiing and snowboarding were "risky sports", Ms Reid said there were steps people could take to minimise the chances of an accident.

"It's basically taking care, following instructions and not pushing the boundaries; even getting enough sleep and food - the basics - so you are on top of it," Ms Reid said.

"Take all the protection available: hats, helmets, wristguards and all that sort of thing; and be prepared for the conditions."


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