A Health-Care Plan For Skiers

A Utah company offers affordable insurance for skiers but no public option.
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A Utah company offers affordable insurance for skiers but no public option.
Need a screw through your elbow?

Does the prospect of medical bills keep you from dropping into Corbet’s Couloir or off of Alta’s Diving Board? That excuse is over. Xtreme Sports Insurance, a new Draper, Utah, company, is offering a cheap safety net for those worried about broken femurs, torn ligaments, and dislocated hips. 

Starting at $17 a month, XSI reimburses clients who collide with an aspen trunk or get tossed by a death cookie. Robert Scott started the company in March, filling a void he saw in the insurance market: coverage for active outdoor people who don’t carry traditional health insurance. XSI won’t cover a doctor’s visit for bronchitis or getting your cholesterol checked; this is accident insurance, plain and simple. “Most extreme athletes aren’t worried about getting sick,” Scott explains. “They’re worried about getting injured.”

And it doesn’t matter how the injury happens—car accident, ski crash, drunken tomfoolery—you’re covered. The benefits the insurance pays adhere to a rigid scale according to the injury. A broken leg, for instance, pays $1,500 to the client, even if he or she has legitimate health insurance that covers most of the costs. And for each accompanying cost associated with the broken leg, XSI covers you for another set amount: $150 for an x-ray, $30 for a follow-up doctor’s visit.

“It’s just nice to know I have something backing me up,” says Stephanie White, 30, an XSI client and season-pass holder at Solitude, Utah. White suffered a 1997 crash on the hill in which her broken collarbone jabbed through her skin. Then a college student, she had health insurance. But then she went without it for the last six years, until she heard about XSI from an ad on Facebook, where her page identifies her as a BMX enthusiast. “It’s about a 10th the cost of my phone bill,” she says of her new insurance. “I feel like an adult now.”


A Skier's Journey

A Skier's Journey

Recovered from a life-threatening brain injury, artist Jordan Manley creates three final films with skiers Chad Sayers and Forrest Coots in Iran and China, culminating in a special homecoming to British Columbia.

Step aside Nutella, your time on a pedestal is over. Justin is here. Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter is not only decadent, but also nutritious, free of artificial flavors and processed dairy, plus it comes in an ultra-convenient squeeze pack size. These can be stashed in pockets and easily scarfed on the lift, minus the melted chocolate mess factor.  Hazelnuts, often overshadowed by the nutritional content of nut-brothers almonds and walnuts, are packin’ when it comes to nutrient-density. These chestnut relatives are a good source of vitamin B1, which is imperative for energy production, and copper, a mineral that is needed for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase which disarms free radicals. The best part is Justin uses palm fruit oil rather than inflammation-promoting hydrogenated vegetables oils like most commercial nut butters do. This is worth going nuts over. Cost: $0.55 cents per squeeze pack. Calories: 80www.justinsnutbutter.com

Top Five Pocket Snacks For Skiers

This question just might be one of the seven wonders of the food world: What is the optimal snack to pack so I don’t have to stop for lunch on a powder day, that doesn’t weigh me down, smooch, or melt in my pocket? The answer is that just as skis have gotten wider, on-slope snacks have also improved, moving past dry protein bars and sweaty string cheese. If you’ve upgraded your gear in the last year, then it’s also time to upgrade the snack selection. Start with these five snacks, each available for under $2 per serving.

Lars Chickering-Ayers

A Chairlift Interview with Pro Skier Lars Chickering-Ayers

Lars Chickering-Ayers is a 22-year-old pro skier who won the 2010 Freeskiing World Championships at Snowbird, Utah, in mid March. We caught up with Lars about his upcoming summit-to-sea expedition in Alaska while riding the Pallavicini Chair at Colorado's A-Basin on a powder day in May.

Emily Brydon, post-race.

For God and Country

Canadian skiers have blown it at these games. No matter the cause of this failure, no one is pointing fingers at the ladies’ coach. He’s all but failure-proof. Why?

Rachael Burks and Julian Carr have their mean faces on. They're grunting, gasping, making expressions that are usually unwanted when taking ski photos. In this case, they can’t help it.  Burks and Carr are at Boxing is For Girls, a Salt Lake City gym geared toward beating the snot out of people—and not just ladies—in the name of fitness. They’re going through trainer Eliza James’ specially designed Chance workout, an ass-kicker that combines strength, endurance, and pushing your pain threshold. Ironmen and marathoners can’t even get through it, not even close. But Burks and Carr are definitely trying—and as some of the most badass skiers out there, they are doing a solid job.  “Work hard for your break, come on!” James yells. “You want all your hard work to pay off.”

Boxing is for Skiers

Rachael Burks and Julian Carr get put through a brutal boxing workout to see if they’ve got what it takes. Turns out skiers are good athletes.