What Safety Gear or Padding Do you Wear?

Dealing with aches and pains--and better yet, avoiding them--and fitness related to snowboarding. This is also the place to talk about helmets, safety pads, and goggles.

What Safety Gear or Padding Do you Wear?

Postby John » Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:46 pm

Today I braved the 0 degree (F) air and went out for a short visit to my home ski area. Last time out, I (ever so gently) fell on my knees, which made me think that buying some knee pads would be a good thing.

Yesterday I bought some knee pads for volleyball, which were the only ones I could find in the store. Good thing I had them, though, since I took a fall and tumble that would have hurt a lot if I did not have the pads.

Right now I'm pretty bulked up, with

Wrist guards
Impact shorts
Knee pads

About the only other thing that I might consider are elbow pads, for the occasional spread-eagle fall. (Ouch!)

I know that some people use shin guards, but I'm not in to riding the rails, so I figure that part of my body is not vulnerable.
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Postby oldrider » Wed Dec 29, 2004 3:11 pm

I wear a pair of Crash Pads, a rib vest, and a helmet. Crash Pads sells several models, I bought the "full coverage" set that looks like long johns with pads sewn in. They do a great job of protecting all the vunerable bony areas of my lower body. The rib vest is actually designed for La Crosse. I could probably do without it, but I hardly know it's there so why not? Besides, some A-hole on skis nailed be in the ribs (breaking one) the FIRST day of a three day trip several years ago. He stopped long enough to make sure I wasn't dead - then skied off without a word!

Honestly I cannot imagine riding without a really good helmet. I just got back from 4 days at Park City Utah. Conditions were not very good - mostly hard packed and icy. I butt-slammed twice banging the back of my head pretty hard.

I used to wear wrist guards - but couldn't stand the feeling - but honestly my wrists have had a few close calls recently so I may look for a more comfortable pair.

The one body part I NEARLY ALWAYS injure is my forward ankle. In a bad fall, the board may get twisted around faster than my body can keep up with. Never bothers my rear ankle - only the front.
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Postby John » Wed Dec 29, 2004 4:18 pm

So you're pads come with legs, they're not just shorts? Do they have shin-guards built in, then? Otherwise, I can't see the point of wearing a longer garment.

Or perhaps do you use the "full coverage" crash pads in place of la "long johns" base layer?

I'm curious about the rib vest. Do you mean that it's typically sold for motorcross riders? I have an article on my conputer somewhere, about Montel Williams. Interesting story (he claims that riding helps his MS). He must look like a warrior with all the gear he wears, including a rib vest of some sort.

Not saying that's bad--actually, it's pretty smart.

As for wrist guards, I have gloves with the guards built in. But I must have gotten cheapie gloves (even for, what were they, $25 or something) as I sweat a lot in them, and they aren't waterproof. Certainly not GoreTex or the follow-on material. Still, some sort of waterproofing coating applied once a year helps.

Ankle injuries? Ouch. Sprains, breaks, or something else? How long does it put you out?
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Postby oldrider » Mon Jan 03, 2005 2:39 pm

The long crash pads look just like long thermals with pads built-in. Knees, thighs, hips, tail-bone, and the hip-bones you sit on. No need for more base layer on the legs with these unless it's sub-zero.

I found the rib vest on eBay. It's designed for the sport of LaCrosse. I guess rib injuries are common in that sport. Very lightweight and unobtrusive. I've injured my ribs twice before I started wearing it.

Ankle just gets mildly sprained. Most of the time it's good enough the next day to ride on. I may try wrapping it next time for prevention. Besides - I shouldn't be crashing so hard. Usually trying to keep up with the kids! :shock:
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Postby John » Mon Jan 03, 2005 3:30 pm

Thanks for the explanation of the long-thermals with padding.

Interesting side benefit of safety gear: you may not need to wear some elements of clothing such as a hat or a base layer.

Last night I was out on the slopes, and someone on the lift asked me if the helmet was sufficient to keep my head warm. The answer is "almost always, yes."

As for the rib vest, I must of drawn a blank when I first read your post. I had completely forgotten what lacrosse is (see http://www.lacrosse.org/). Now that you remind me, it makes perfect sense why that sport may provide gear suitable for rib protection.
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Postby Norm » Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:32 pm

[Duplicate post removed by moderator.]

I am 50 and just started riding this season. My first trip out was mid December at Northstar-at-Tahoe. I didn't wear any protective gear. The next day my wrists and rear end were quite sore.

So, before my next trip I aquired and have continued to wear the following protective gear:
Giro SST Helmet
Protec Wrist guards
Protec IPS Hip Pad shorts.

The wrist guards are a little uncomfortable. But, the only time I really notice it, is when I am on a long lift ride.

The helmet has been very comfortable and with the different vent plugs can be adjusted for warm days.

I haven't landed on my knees hard enough to motivate me to get any additional pads.
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Postby John » Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:48 pm

I have not had any hard crashes on my knees lately, but I am still glad to have the knee pads.

Why? Sometimes I get to a point where I just need to stop--because I'm tired, because I'm going to run into someone otherwise, because I'm losing control etc.--and getting to the ground is a good option.

Knowing that I can land on my knees, or more specifically, on the pads that are on my legs, just below the kneecap, provides some extra peace of mind, and another option.
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Postby andyinks » Fri Feb 18, 2005 2:37 pm

Pro-Tec helmet only.
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Postby Doug » Tue Mar 08, 2005 1:09 pm

I have been riding a couple of years and wear a bit of protective gear. I try and do new tricks everytime I am out. Good gear helps, trust me.

For my wrists I wear K2 large wrist guards that I use for roller blading. I prefer them because they go with any glove, have lasted for years and serve two sports.

Pro-Tec Ace freeride for the brain bucket. Here on the East coast it isn't uncommon for it to be icy (fast) on the slopes. The helmet covers a large portion of the back of the head for those heelside crashes that end up bonking your melon.

When I was looking at lower body gear I checked out several companies. Pro-Tec had a model in the short form, but I wanted something that protected my knees without having to wear seperate pads. I went with CrashPads Inc and they had two models for snowboarding the only difference is their warmth properties. They work great because the pads are scored which allows for increased flexibility. They protect the front hip sides, and tail bone. I was so pleased I ordered their upper body gear following my first day using their gear.

The "jacket" from Crash Pads (Model 6100) fits comfortably under my jacket and has great mobility. It protects the collarbone, shoulders, back, kidneys, elbows and forearms. It is a bit pricy, but it has given me the confidence to go alot bigger.

Getting sore and all banged up stinks, the protective gear helps me out bigtime. It is kinda cool being the oldest guy in the terrain park. Hope this helped.
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falling on the butt

Postby nineball81007 » Tue May 31, 2005 10:47 pm

I jammed my back one day, i was trying to turn on ice, and getting close to a tree line, when I fell on my butt and jammed my lower back, quite painful. I sat there for at least ten minutes and in pain for the rest of the day. Does anyone have a tailbone padded underwear, from crash pads? Do they comfort the fall on the butt?
THanks Todd
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I just bought my first Helmet at Sniagrab

Postby jdawg50 » Fri Sep 09, 2005 6:50 pm

Its a buet!
Never really wore one before now
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falling on butt

Postby shikshak » Sat Nov 26, 2005 7:53 am

After a few really hard smashes on my butt, I started wearing a Crash Pad because they have tailbone protection. They have one with a hard place piece, but mine has a softer tailbone pad. My favorite thing about them is I don't worry about falling because it won't hurt, and I end up falling much less! Also wear wrist guards, and they're only uncomfortable putting them on and trying to get the mittens over the top. And of course a helmet. Maybe it's too much stuff, but it's my insurance policy. As much as I love riding, getting hurt would ruin the season, and the taunts from students would be too much!
My personal thought is to load up with whatever will prevent injury. I don't tend to fall on my knees, so no knee pads yet.
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Postby DMC » Tue Dec 20, 2005 12:00 pm


But in the back country I carry an iceaxe, transceiver, probe and shovel...
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Postby GregH » Tue Dec 20, 2005 12:20 pm

Shamefully I dont wear any gear at all for safety when I snowboard. I haven't hurt myself yet but I guess the day will come. I hear alot about wrists, but of any bumps and briuses I have had, I've had no wrist or hand issues. This past weekend was my worst wipeout. I banged my shoulder a bit, but today I don't feel a thing.

Knowing that I know pracitally nothing about snowboarding I suppose at least a helmet is in order and mabye some knee pads. (and lessons now that i think about it)

Wrist guards? are they really necessary? Have I just been lucky?
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Postby John » Tue Dec 20, 2005 12:29 pm

Wrist injuries are the most frequent injuries suffered while snowboarding. I have an "injury" page for the site in the works. From what I've seen, I believe that wrist guards can help, and helmets are useful, though obviously beyond some point of velocity and force, gear can't do much.

Safety gear can have some additional, non-safety benefits. The helmet doubles as a hat, keeping out the cold. Padded shorts help keep moisture away while riding on chairs during wet days.
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