Safety first when freeriding

Linda Eigner

Safety First: Safety features for freeriding

Regardless of the competition, class and area, safety equipment is a must for every rider. Familiarizing yourself with the terrain and snow is important to navigating in the backcountry. In addition, the right technique and equipment are essential for freeriding. In our article you will learn everything about the right equipment and how you can best prepare for freeriding. Check out the article about safety when freeriding.


Safety in the Freeride World Tour

The topic of safety is also very important in the FWT. The FWT CEO Nicolas Hale-Woods explains in a statement that safety is very important in the FWT: " Safety is the number one priority for Freeride World Tour. Education is the first and most important aspect of mountain safety." At the Freeride World Tour, the athletes are obliged to wear both a helmet and a back protector at the events and to carry an avalanche transceiver, a shovel and a probe. Additionally the FWT riders still have to wear an avalanche airbag. However, safety equipment is not only important in the context of the Freeride World Tour. Even if you spend your free time in the backcountry, the safety features are part of the standard equipment. The NAKED Optics rider Michi Strauss (FWT Qualifier ) told us what he takes with him when he is freeriding:


“The beeper, shovel and probe are always with us. I always ride with an airbag backpack. I have the JETFORCE beep. It's really cool because you can vary the size. I also have a Piwag bag, a first aid kit and a small telescope with me. That helps tremendously to scout a line. Sometimes I also have an action cam with me, a few snacks and of course a Nocco.”


Why can backcountry skiing be so dangerous?

Even if you are an experienced rider in deep snow and have ridden down the mountain countless times, there is always a certain risk with freeriding. Routes and the right equipment can be selected and influenced by oneself - nature and the slopes cannot. Therefore, preparation is the ultimate when it comes to freeriding. This includes not only the current weather report and avalanche report, but also physical fitness. Quick reactions, basic endurance and coordination are very important in the backcountry. If you are physically in the right shape, you can focus more on the external influences on the mountain and minimize the risk.


💡 NAKED Optics insider tip 💡

Current European avalanche reports can be found here.


Backcountry freeriding: What should I do in an emergency?

The fact is, no matter how experienced you are, every freerider can get into a dangerous situation. It is important to behave correctly. We asked the Austrian freeride specialist Michi Strauss if he has ever gotten into a precarious situation and how to rely on yourself in such a situation:

“Yes, I have definitely been in a difficult situation before. Freeriding is a high-risk sport. Something can always happen, especially due to avalanches and the rocks. Nevertheless, one tries to minimize the risk, but mistakes can always happen to mountain guides and ski guides. There is always a residual risk. For example, last year there were 6 of us. 3 of us were state ski instructors and ski guides, 1 person was with the avalanche commission. We triggered a slab of snow anyway. Luckily nothing happened because we kept enough distance and the board came off under me. With something like this, it's simply important that we call the mountain rescue service and tell them that it happened, but nobody was buried, to save emergency services the trouble."


🎆 You want to know more about Michi Strauss ? Then take a look at this post . 🎆

Credits: Didi Koerbler

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