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Protect the good times on the slopes

Released 19/08/16

After a patchy start in July, the recent flurry of winter snow has meant ski fields and snow lovers are delighted that the season is fully underway.

ACC is hoping everyone has a great time on the slopes and gets through the season without losing precious hours on the skis or board through injury or fatigue.

ACC Injury Prevention Sport Portfolio Manager Isaac Carlson says New Zealand is a paradise for those who enjoy the winter thrills and challenges of skiing and snowboarding.

“The accessibility and variety of our ski fields provides skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts ample opportunity to get out and make the most of winter.

“It’s a great way to keep fit and enjoy the outdoors, but it’s important to remember these are also physically demanding activities over some rugged terrain. The body may not cope with a full-on day on the slopes so following some simple safety and fitness tips will help people avoid injury and make the most of their day on the mountain.”

Around 13,000 people each year get injured while skiing or snowboarding resulting in around $20 million in ACC claims.

“Knees are the most likely to suffer injury for skiers while it’s wrists for snowboarders, especially beginners to the sport. Most injuries are minor strains, sprains and bruising with the more serious injuries being fractures, dislocations and concussions.”

To help reduce the risk of injury, Mr Carlson urges all those heading to the mountains to have a pre-season training plan to improve fitness and to reduce the risk of injury which could result in a shortened season of fun.


  • Wear a helmet when you ski or snowboard
  • Wear wrist guards when snowboarding, especially if you are a beginner
  • Start building up your fitness in advance of your trip, especially if you don’t do much physical activity
  • Skill up with a lesson – you’ll improve your technique and be able to explore more runs. This includes refresher lessons; great if it’s been a while between trips to the mountain.

Make sure you are familiar with, and follow the updated ‘New Zealand Snow Safety Code, endorsed by the Ski Areas Association of New Zealand.

New Zealand Snow Safety Code

Know Your Limits

  • Ride to your ability, control your speed
  • Be aware of the conditions
  • Take a lesson.

Find Your Space

  • Stop where you can be seen
  • Give others room
  • Look ahead.

Protect Yourself

  • Obey all signs and closures
  • Tired, take a rest
  • Wear a helmet.
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