"It Ain't Brain Surgery"


Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.

Feb. 15, 2001–The ski industry has become increasingly aware of skier safety, especially after the highly publicized Nathan Hall case in Eagle, CO. To combat many of the preventable injuries and fatalities that occur on the slopes, Christy Sports and Dr. Stewart Levy have developed a program that adds free helmets to ski and snowboard rental packages.

Twenty-two Christy Sports, Sports Stalker, and Powder Tools outlets throughout Colorado are participating in the program, aptly named, “It Ain’t Brain Surgery.” InterMountain Neurosurgeons and St. Anthony’s Central Hospital formed a partnership with the ski shops to promote injury awareness and safety to Colorado’s skiers and snowboarders after completing a three-season study, which indicated that helmets reduce the incidence and severity of head injuries among snowriders.

The program was developed and tested during the 1998-99 ski season and proved to be hugely successful. “It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to know that wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of a head injury, but only recently has their been interest on the ski slopes,” said Levy.

For the 2000-2001 program, about 2,000 new helmets are available in the stores. The Winter Park Children’s Center is the first ski resort-based rental program to participate in Levy’s brainchild, offering 500 helmets to children in ski school. Efforts are underway to expand the program into Utah and at least two similar programs are underway in other states.

Rent some skis, get a brain bucket, and save a trip to the emergency room. For the participating shop nearest you, contact 303-237-6321 or check out