Listening to music on the slopes can be a pretty divisive issue in the skiing and snowboarding community. While many enjoy cruising down a run while blasting music, others feel like it detracts from the overall experience and can be dangerous. Jamming out on the slopes is so popular that a lot of snow helmets have their own bluetooth helmet speakers built in. to make the process easier. We can't tell you whether or not using headphones while shredding is right for you, but we can tell you what the pros and cons are of enjoying some tunes on the slopes. Hopefully after reading this, you’ll have a better idea of whether or not you want to pack your headphones for your next trip to the mountains.
Whether they wear standard earbuds or specially designed ski helmet headphones, many skiers advocate for music on the slopes. On this pro-headphone side of the debate it is believed that as long as you’re competent at the sport and don’t crank up the volume too loud, you should be safe. There are a lot of different reasons people prefer to wear headphones on the slopes but we’ll just list a few of the more common ones for you today.
- It can enhance your focus. A popular reason for listening to music on the slopes is because it helps people dial in on their experience and technique. Music can aid you in finding your rhythm and help you get out of your own head. Some riders enjoy using music as a tool for perfecting their run.
- It can give you an energy boost. Music enhances your overall experience and helps get you hyped up. Studies have found that music can help block signals in the brain that activate when the body needs rest. This helps people push themselves further than if they were not listening to music at all. Many Olympic athletes utilize music as a mood stabilizer during competitions and some consider their music as important to their performance as their gear. Using music to level up your performance can be a game changer.
How do people feel on the “Con” side of the great headphone debate? Many believe that when not used correctly, wearing headphones or using bluetooth helmet speakers on the slopes can cause accidents. Since we’ve already established that listening to music while shredding is a great performance hack, we’re going to provide you with solutions to a few commonly expressed concerns.
- Concern: You’re hindering one of your senses. No matter how many years of experience you have skiing or snowboarding, you need to remember to always remain alert on the slopes. Especially around holidays when you find yourself surrounded by more bombers and yard sales than usual.
- Solution: Simply keep your music at a volume that still allows you to hear your surroundings. You can listen to your playlist at a comfortable volume and stay alert at the same time. Some skiers and snowboarders will put an earbud in only one ear to make it easier to hear through the other. The easiest solution is to use an audio enabled bluetooth helmet with ski helmet headphones inserted into the ear flaps. These kinds of headphones make it easier to manage volume or quickly pause your music. They’re also built to withstand harsh elements, unlike most traditional headphones.
- Concern: It creates a different experience. Many (if not all people) go to resorts or the backcountry because they enjoy the sense of escapism that comes with it. Spending time outdoors has a way of putting things into perspective and bringing you peace of mind. Your problems feel much smaller on the mountainside. When you're listening to music you’re not completely unplugged and that final connection to the outside world can impede your ability to have a peaceful experience.
- Solution: Listening to music or being 100% disconnected from tech is truly a personal preference. For a lot of people, music is an important part of having a positive experience on the slopes. If you prefer a mix of both music and no music, that’s an easy fix. You can listen to music during your lift ride to hype yourself up and then turn it off during your run. Or, start the day without music and then turn it on midday to keep your energy from waning.
Everyone's personal preferences regarding headphones on the slopes tends to vary but we can all agree that our main goal is to have a good time without getting hurt. Be sure to choose the safest option for you and remember to use your headphones responsibly.