Helmet use gaining popularity among Central Alberta skiers

Lyndon Copithorne has been hitting the slopes since the age six and has always worn a helmet. Now at age 15 he’d never think to do anything but that.

Brady Grout

Lyndon Copithorne has been hitting the slopes since the age six and has always worn a helmet.

Now at age 15 he’d never think to do anything but that.

“It’s just an easy precaution,” said the teenager, at the Red Deer Ski and Snowboard Show on Saturday.

He said it has come in handy when he has hit trees, hard snow and even bashed his head on some rocks once or twice.

“If there is a place to crash I’ll find it,” he said.

His mother Diane said her four children have always worn helmets for any recreational activity.

“We have lots of storage and lots of helmets,” she said.

Seven months since actress Natasha Richardson died after falling at a Quebec ski resort many resorts have updated their rules on helmets.

Vancouver-based Intrawest, which owns Panorama and Whistler Blackcomb, has made helmets mandatory for children and teens enrolled in ski and snowboard programs or any student no matter what their age in the freestyle terrain park programs. All children under 12 years old taking a lesson must wear a helmet at Lake Louise Ski Resort.

Blackfalds mother Carla Kroschinski plans to put a helmet on her daughter Kyra, three and a half, when she goes skiing this year, but she still doesn’t want to wear one herself.

“Helmets for kids I think it’s a great idea, but anybody over 16, no,” she said.

Kroschinski is an intermediate to experienced snowboarder, even heading down the mountain when she was seven months pregnant. She said she doesn’t think the rules should change because of what happened to someone famous.

Kroschinski’s sister Adele Armstrong said she thinks it would be a good idea to have children wear helmets “and inexperienced adults like myself.”

Few people saw a problem with having helmets for young children and teens.

Tracy Knecht, of Red Deer, said her six-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son will both be wearing them. She said she just feels it’s important resorts aren’t too restrictive of the type of helmet.

sobrien@bprda.wpengine.com

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