A 2013 snowboarder death on Grouse Mountain, British Columbia has prompted a B.C. coroner to call for making helmets mandatory for all ski participants.

Sixteen-year-old Luca Cesar, an exchange student from Brazil, was not wearing a helmet when he fell into rocks below the Heaven’s Sake run after becoming separated from his friends. Coroner Timothy Wiles was unable to determine whether a helmet would have prevented the life-threatening traumatic brain injury Cesar suffered, he did state “it is clear that traumatic brain injuries continue to pose a significant risk to skiers and snowboarders.”

But once again, the ski industry is opposed to any such requirement. David Lynn, president the Canada West Ski Area Association, says his group is against the recommendation. In a somewhat disconnected argument, Lynn claims ski helmet use has increased from 32 per cent in 2003, to 86 per cent this past ski season but also stated that legislation to make bike helmets mandatory hasn’t worked, noting only 65 per cent of cyclist wear a helmet.

Thirty-seven skiers and snowboarders died on B.C. ski hills between 2007 and 2013. Head injures were responsible for 20 per cent of the snowboarder deaths, and 26 per cent of the skier deaths.

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