Central European Journal of Sport Sciences and Medicine (Jan 2016)

A subjective Assessment of Accident Risk in Downhill Skiing by Beginner Skiers and Ski Instructors

  • Iwona Pawelec

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 13


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Nowadays downhill skiing is one of the most popular form of winter recreation. Although skiing fulfills a number of contemporary health and leisure needs, even skiing on very well-prepared terrain poses several dangers and risks. Objective safety would be the state of being protected or free from all danger. The subjective aspect relates to one’s mental state and is based on their feeling of confidence of another person, organization, or situation. Subjective risk is connected with perception and is dependent not only on how one perceives a threat but also how can assess its possible outcomes. There are three factors composing the qualitative dimension of risk perception, being ‘the fear of risk’, ‘an unknown risk’, and ‘the level of risk’. The first factor is associated with such features as worrying about potential consequences, anxiety, negativity, voluntariness, and the ability to manage risk. Data was collected by use of a diagnostic survey designed by the study’s author (Risk Assessment Questionnaire). In total, 53 participants completed the survey (26 instructors, 27 beginners). Beginner skiers believed there to be a higher level of risk in skiing than ski instructors, especially among aspects that assessed their perception of risk that concerned themselves. Beginner skiers clearly assessed the risk of downhill skiing higher when it concerned their own welfare and declared higher levels of fear of being involved in an accident.