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Question for the instructors - should we wear helmets when teaching?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I don't when teaching beginners - mainly as there's a lot of running around, picking people up and I'd get pretty hot! Also the chance of me falling over / being knocked over on the nursery slope is almost non-existent.

Last week I had thought to myself that I'd probably wear my helmet once they were running, but in the end I didn't (very hot weather! not an excuse i know Embarassed ) But I also thought to myself that when I'm leading a class down the mountain I'm VERY aware of what is going on around me, much more so than when I'm free skiing, so again risk of me being hit is tiny. But maybe that's not setting a very good example.

What do others think?

Last week I had a very timid girl in my group, day 1 she asked me "What's the chance of me dying because I'm not wearing a helmet?" I said - "almost non-existent, it's very unusual for beginners to get seriously injured as you're not going fast enough" (true). But now obviously with the recent media interest it's going to be harder to reassure in this way.
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beanie1, At The Snow Centre Hemel Hempstead we are asking all our instructors to wear helmets and “inviting” all our guests to do the same. All kids and people on lessons will anyway.

PSG
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gilleski, do you wear a helmet when delivering BASI courses?
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beanie1, Not in the past but think it has to go that way in the future. I wear one now when running my own courses (as do most of my clients). I think it is just best practice.
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I wear a helmet on the mountain but not on plastic or in a dome - am I naughty? Puzzled
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gilleski, I better bring a helmet home then for hemel use wink

I think helmet wearing by instructors is a good idea, sending a positve message out when giving lessons to <18's on the beginners slope. But IMO when delivering lessons to adults i think it should be personal preference of the instructor involved.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Mon 23-03-09 16:42; edited 1 time in total
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skimottaret We want to send a positive message and example. We got to lead in this culture change as professionals IMO.

roga, I have been the same, but why are we like this? I cant answer that, it just doesnt add up really does it.

Whats is needed is a culture change and that will take time. In the past I have sometimes wore a helmet, sometimes not, but with no logical reason why not. IMO there is no reason why not. I guess sometimes just cant be bothered.
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^ yeah, I can't disagree to be honest.

I don't know if you find it the same but with my own kids it's much easier getting them to wear helmets because I have one. Mind you they seem to view it as quite cool so it may have nothing to do with me wearing one after all Wink
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Personally I think instructors should set an example to all in the slopes and therefore should wear a helmet..... and excused of "it will make me too hot just don't hold water imho!
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I didn't when I did my week in Pila. I considered the risk of injury to myself to be minimal, and I don't like the loss of hearing and peripheral vision that I get when wearing helmets. This is more pronounced for me when I'm spending a lot of time looking over my shoulder to see how my clients are doing. If I were taking a higher level group I would be more inclined to wear a helmet, although it would depend on circumstances. One downside to wearing a helmet & goggle combo is you lose a bit of 'eye-eye contact' with the people you're teaching, which I'm sure those people who are heavily into the psychology of teaching would say is a bad thing. I know I feel a bit distanced from my surroundings when I wear my helmet. The guide I skied with last week positively disliked his clients wearing helmets because he very much disliked his clients not hearing his instructions clearly. Of our group of five two wore helmets and they did occasionally ask him to repeat instructions, whereas the three who did not had no problems hearing him.

If it is the rule at Hemel to wear a helmet when teaching I will do so, albeit reluctantly. Walking up the slope and picking up kids or adults can be pretty hot work, which for me is made worse by wearing a helmet.
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rob@rar, yes that was another factor that occurred to me, particularly with lower level groups and children, skiing along looking over your shoulder to check they're all there whilst still seeing where you're going would be tricky with a helmet.
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rob@rar, beanie1, I agree they can be hot and hearing not so easy, however there are models on the market that have improved these factors.

Risk to us is low I think (teaching and in normal skiing activities in an indoor facility) However its about setting an example as professionals. In some ski schools in Austria now (BKK and St Olwald where my parents live) all instructors wear helmets. Its the ski school rules.

Not long now an insurance companies will be insisting on Helmets I think. For us at Hemel it good to be seen as leaders in safety. Not everyone will like it, but they have a choice Toofy Grin
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gilleski wrote:
However its about setting an example as professionals.

I think that's an important aspect of being an instructor so if it's decided that helmet-wearing is an example worth setting then I'll wear one. At least at Hemel I won't need to wear goggles so the loss of peripheral vision won't be an issue. I have a very lightweight slalom helmet which I'll wear, having removed the chin guard.
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rob@rar, losing clients also won't be an issue!

I wear a helmet most of the time and think I will when teaching most of the time, except perhaps for the first day or two with beginners.

gilleski,
Quote:

I wear one now when running my own courses


Don't remember you wearing one in Hintertux in November wink
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beanie1 wrote:
the chance of me falling over / being knocked over on the nursery slope is almost non-existent

Congratulations; you've won the 'Guess Natasha Richardson's last words' competition.
I'm not an instructor, but here's my opinion. I don't see why you should wear a helmet when teaching adults (if you don't want to); they shouldn't need role models. I was always pleased to see the instructors who taught my kids (in Canada) wearing helmets; probably a good idea providing that you can hear and see them properly.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
richmond wrote:
beanie1 wrote:
the chance of me falling over / being knocked over on the nursery slope is almost non-existent

Congratulations; you've won the 'Guess Natasha Richardson's last words' competition.

To be honest I find that just a bit distasteful.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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richmond, major difference - Natasha Richardson was learning to ski, I'm teaching. Beginners crash into me frequently, it very rarely knocks me over. Beginners however will spend half their time on the ground!

I'm pro helmet wearing, but am aware that all the research shows wearing them prevents impact injuries (eg. rocks, skis, lifts) rather than life threatening injuries:

http://www.ski-injury.com/prevention/helmet

I would always reccommend my clients wear a helmet (children and adults) but would say I'm not wearing one in the first few days because I'm spending more time on my feet picking them up than i am skiing!
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I think those who complain of over heating/poor hearing/loss of peripheral vision should look at the modern range of helmets.

Ok I'm not a ski instructor but I do ski several times a week with clients of all ages and abilities and keep a close eye on how they are doing, where they are, have conversatiosn with them on the piste and often do quite a bit of picking up etc etc etc and don't suffer from any of the compaints you're sighting as a [-]excuse[/-] reason why you won't wear a helmet.

Modern helmets are light weight, well vented, well behind eye line and with removable eye cushions............

as for the reference to Natasha... would this topic have been started if it weren't for her death?

The OP did reference it themselves and whislt richmond might not be 100% politically correct the sentiment is justified imo
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marcellus, who are you to say whether I'm affected by over-heating, loss of hearing, loss of vision, etc?? I wear a very good helmet, which is extremely lightweight and I dare say offers me more protection than most ski helmets. I also have to say that there is a world of difference between guiding a few clients and teaching 10 kids.
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For the first time we saw an instructor wearing a helmet in Avoriaz today - we were on the chair over the Proclou blue run and she was taking a child down there.
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marcellus,
Quote:

would this topic have been started if it weren't for her death?


yes it would actually, as this was something I was thinking about when I was last teaching. Can I just point out - I am pro helmet wearing, so don't want to be lambasted by the helmet evangelists!

Teaching beginners by comparison to leading a group of clients around the mountain (which is what I assume you do) is very different. Occasionally helping someone up is not very physical so not a good comparison to spending all day climbing up and down the nursery slope and physically catching people / holding them up. At this time of year many instructors will even take their jackets off, last week the temperature was in the teens and i felt the effects of the heat!

Maybe what I will do is take a helmet with me, and start wearing it as we actually start skiing.
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Quote:

with removable eye cushions


a very good feature, especially for instructors wink
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skimottaret, good spot! Very Happy
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beanie1, Ah that was not one of my courses it was WCS Madeye-Smiley Poor excuse! I have worn, not worn, worn and so on. Im in a wearing phase at the moment!
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Blush ok ear cushions.............. a topic asks for people oppinions I share mine doesn't mean I'm right or your wrong it's called debate and discussion!!

beanie1, if the recent celeb death had no relevance to your topic why reference it in the initial post?


rob@rar whilst I didn't say that you didn't like the overheating, loss of vision and hearing I have looked back at your post and forgive me if I interpreted your own words

rob@rar wrote:
...................................I don't like the loss of hearing and peripheral vision that I get when wearing helmets. ...............downside to wearing a helmet & goggle combo is you lose a bit of 'eye-eye contact' with the people you're teaching,...............................Walking up the slope and picking up kids or adults can be pretty hot work, which for me is made worse by wearing a helmet.


as you finding loss of vision, hearing and overheat as an issue with wearing helmets................ I was mistaken obviously you see these as a benefit?
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marcellus, that's not what i said - i said i would still have started the topic because I was thinking about it prior to the Natasha Richardson story, but of course it has relevance to the topic.
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marcellus wrote:
as you finding loss of vision, hearing and overheat as an issue with wearing helmets................ I was mistaken obviously you see these as a benefit?

I object to being told that those factors are an "excuse" (in the pejorative sense) if I decide not to wear a helmet. They might not be factors in you deciding whether you wear a helmet or not, but they are factors for me. That doesn't mean that I never wear a helmet - I frequently do, selecting from four different models - but the risk assessment that people make about helmets is personal and varies with many different factors.
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beanie1 wrote:
marcellus, that's not what i said - i said i would still have started the topic because I was thinking about it prior to the Natasha Richardson story, but of course it has relevance to the topic.


ok, my apologies!!

rob@rar wrote:

I object to being told that those factors are an "excuse" (in the pejorative sense) if I decide not to wear a helmet. They might not be factors in you deciding whether you wear a helmet or not, but they are factors for me. That doesn't mean that I never wear a helmet - I frequently do, selecting from four different models - but the risk assessment that people make about helmets is personal and varies with many different factors.


rob@rar so not all coding works the "excuse" should have been crossed out and "reason" being the word left............. but can you please show me where I have ever written or implied that the reason YOU, ROB@RAR doesn't wish to wear a helmet for any reason is because of xy or z................... there are several people who have referenced temperature/sight/hearing as reasons why they might or might not chose to wear a helmet.

My perspective/opinion on the matter is that instructors should wear a helmet as part of their uniform in order to set an example to those they teach, ski instructors are very, very influential to a lot of people on the slopes .......... from a personal perspective of skiing for over 30 years I still watch instructors in the hope that I can learn from them but with an aspiration to look at good as them on the slopes it is natural to do so, I guess that most skiers/boarders at whatever level they ski at when they see an instructor think to themselves "I wish I could ski/board like that" so if you take that thought of influence further if people see instructors wearing a helmet surely they are more likely to wear one themselves... further I understand that at National Level ESF have also recommended this but at regional/local level it has been voted against but it's thought that it's only a matter of time until Nationally they get their way....................... speaking to a ski shop owner today since the NR death he has seen a significant increase in helmet sales to British holiday makers!!
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marcellus wrote:
rob@rar so not all coding works the "excuse" should have been crossed out and "reason" being the word left............. but can you please show me where I have ever written or implied that the reason YOU, ROB@RAR doesn't wish to wear a helmet for any reason is because of xy or z

Thank you for confirming your perjorative comment wasn't aimed at me. Just out of interest, who was it aimed at?
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gilleski, thought not, ha ha!
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 Poster: A snowHead
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rob@rar wrote:

Thank you for confirming your perjorative comment wasn't aimed at me. Just out of interest, who was it aimed at?


No one single person in particular just a generic comment about any person who uses heat/vision/sound as an excuse/reason to or not to wear or not wear a helmet or any other head wear for that matter.......

as a further disclaimer "I do not know rob@rar and further do not know whether rob@rar is or is not an instructor and further do not know whether rob@rar does or does not wear a helmet"........... I do however as a result of his posts in this topic believe that he is a........................."
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So far all the instructors that have taught me or taught my kids have worn helmets. I will hold my hands up and say I am in favour of helmets being worn, and I have always been pleased to see the instructors IMV conveying the 'right' message by doing so
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marcellus wrote:
rob@rar wrote:

Thank you for confirming your perjorative comment wasn't aimed at me. Just out of interest, who was it aimed at?


No one single person in particular just a generic comment about any person who uses heat/vision/sound as an excuse/reason to or not to wear or not wear a helmet or any other head wear for that matter.......

as a further disclaimer "I do not know rob@rar and further do not know whether rob@rar is or is not an instructor and further do not know whether rob@rar does or does not wear a helmet"........... I do however as a result of his posts in this topic believe that he is a........................."


OK, so it wasn't specifically aimed at me, just included me in the general criticism. Now that I know where you're coming from I can happily ignore your contributions on this topic.
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Oh god (not that it/he/she/he-she/she-he/he-she-[s]he-dog exists) here we go again.

admin can we please rename to HelmetHeads ? with the alternative NoHelmetHeads for those who prefer?
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so as my comments weren't aimed specifically at you my opinion is worthless??

even those that said instructors were influential??
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marcellus wrote:
so as my comments weren't aimed specifically at you my opinion is worthless??

My contribution was as considered as I could make it, based on the little teaching experience that I have. Your opinion seemed pretty generalised, and included a snotty comment aimed generally at anyone who had a different opinion to you. So no, the fact that your comment wasn't aimed specifically at me is not the reason why I'm happy to ignore it.

Nice edit by the way rolling eyes


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Mon 23-03-09 19:05; edited 1 time in total
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marcellus, why do you have to come and ruin what was an interesting debate with personal insults? I started this topic as I was genuinely interested about peoples' views on whether instructors should wear helmets. I do know rob@rar, but even so can't see anything in what he wrote above that has wound you up so much, other than him taking issue with you labelling his personal reasons for not wanting to wear a helmet when teaching beginners as an "excuse" which I also felt a pretty inflammatory comment.
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ok, now he's edited his post, making mine seem a bit OTT! But good on you for doing that.
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beanie1, yhpm
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Megamum wrote:
So far all the instructors that have taught me or taught my kids have worn helmets.

Did the Prosniege instructor in VT wear a helmet when he was teaching your kids?
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