Top 5 Safety Tips for First-Time Skiers and Snowboarders

TORONTO, Jan. 15 /CNW/ - Discovering and learning something new can be a little nerve-wrecking, but exciting at the same time. During National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Week, January 16-24, 2010, many Ontario ski areas are ready to help make your new snow sport experience the best it can be. So what's the best way to start? Learn how to be safe.

Here are 5 main safety tips to ensure a fun and safe winter sport experience:

    
    1.  Dress appropriately: Dress in layers and avoid wearing cotton.
        Remember to bring water-resistant gloves or mittens, goggles and
        sunscreen.

    2.  Get the right gear: Use the rental shop at your local ski hill to get
        properly fit boots, bindings, poles and skis/snowboards. Helmets are
        also often rentable and recommended - just be sure to educate
        yourself on the benefits and limitations. Check on any mandatory
        helmet requirements being enforced at the ski hill your visiting.

    3.  Take a lesson: Gain some good basics. Most ski hills offer lessons
        with trained and certified ski and snowboard instructors that will
        help you get comfortable on the slopes.

    4.  Follow the rules: Follow the Alpine Responsibility Code and colour-
        coded symbol trail signs. Your primary safety consideration and
        obligation is to ski and ride in a controlled and responsible manner.

    5.  Ride safe on ski lifts: Listen to the lift attendants and be aware of
        all signs during your ski lift ride. If you're unsure, look for
        instructional posters and ask the attendant for help. For chair
        lifts, always use the safety bar. And remember - only lift the bar
        when you've reached the "Raise Bar Here" sign.
    

So what's the last thing to remember? Know your limits. Skiing and snowboarding can be tiring, so take lots of breaks and pack it in for the day if you feel exhausted.

During National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Week and throughout the season, look for Technical Standards and Safety Authority's (TSSA's) RideSmart Crew at a major snow resort near you. You could win a snow resort gift certificate and walk away with more ski lift safety tips.

For these and other important public safety tips, visit www.safetyinfo.ca.

For additional information about National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Week, visit www.skicanada.org. For a guide to various Ontario snow resorts, visit www.skiontario.ca.

TSSA is an innovative, self-funded, non-government organization focused on delivering public safety services. It provides not-for-profit regulatory safety services in industry sectors such as ski lifts, amusement devices, elevating devices, fuels, boilers and pressure vessels, operating engineers, and upholstered and stuffed articles. The organization's vision is to be the world leader in public safety services.

SOURCE TECHNICAL STANDARDS AND SAFETY AUTHORITY

For further information: For further information: Bernadette Celis, Public Education Advisor, Public Relations and Communications, TSSA, Telephone: 1-877-682-8772, Email: media@tssa.org; For more information on the Technical Standards and Safety Authority, please visit www.tssa.org.

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TECHNICAL STANDARDS AND SAFETY AUTHORITY

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