Abta members report increase in ski helmet use

ski helmet

As February half-term approaches, travel association Abta claims that more British skiers and snowboarders are wearing a ski helmet on the slopes.

The upcoming break is traditionally one of the busiest ski weeks in European resorts and with an estimated one million Brits going skiing this season, Abta members are seeing increased interest from people in safety equipment, both to hire and to purchase. This is particularly the case for ski helmets, with experienced skiers and snowboarders more likely than ever to purchase their own.

Last year America’s National Ski Areas Association reported that 70 per cent of all skiers and snowboarders wore a helmet and similar numbers have been reported in Europe – up to 76 per cent of skiers now wear a helmet in Switzerland. This season the high profile story of Michael Schumacher’s accident on the slopes has resulted in heightened interest in ski safety and Abta expects that the trend will surpass last season’s peak.

The association claims that the increase in numbers wearing a helmet is being driven by younger people. This is also the group most likely to take ski holidays, with over 1 in 10 (11 per cent) of 16-24s taking a winter sports break this season – suggesting that people who grow up wearing a helmet will continue to do so, especially in countries such as Austria and Italy where it is a legal requirement for children.

While younger people may be driving the trend towards helmet wearing, Abta research shows that they are still the least likely to take out adequate winter sports insurance; nearly half (47 per cent) of under 35s now go without purchasing specific winter sports insurance, compared to over a third (36 per cent) of Brits overall.

Victoria Bacon of Abta said: “Having the right equipment is an essential part of any winter sports holiday and Abta urges all skiers and snowboarders to wear a helmet.”

See www.abta.com/wintersports