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What protection do I need as a Snowboard beginner?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Always happy to wear my back protector when on piste.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I'm not too worried about whether others are wearing them, merely whether they are effective or not, I'm a beginner, so still fall over far too frequently Happy Are they that much hassle to wear, modern ones (online at least) look fairly slimline?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
The point is that you're incredibly unlikely to fall hard enough to damage your spine. The small number of spinal injuries that do happen to snowboarders are almost exclusively the result of big jumps gone wrong. So what are you hoping to protect against? What's the point in wearing one?

Full suits I personally find unpleasant to wear. Slimmer, spine-only protection isn't too bad, but it does have to sit quite low to do its job properly and I find that a little annoying around the base of the spine - YMMV.

They offer reasonable protection against "impact" injuries (i.e. you hit a hard object directly on the bony parts of your spine), limited protection against hyper-extension injuries and pretty much zero protection against compression or rotational injuries.

As a beginner, you'd be a lot better off investing in impact shorts with coccyx protection.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Tue 27-10-15 21:07; edited 1 time in total
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No hassle to wear, although will make you run warmer. Layers are your friend. Having been run down by a skier I wear mine to protect in collisions as much as self inflicted boarding crashes.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Already got shorts and wrist guards Happy

I'm one to err on the side of caution however, happy to take risk, but if it can be reduced for fairly minimal cost then why not?
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Actually I hadn't even thought of that, I have been run into by 2 skiers, although both on a nursery slope at low speed, that said the second time did hurt!!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
You could reduce your chance of dying in an unfortunate lightning strike incident for fairly minimal cost by fitting a lightning conductor to your hat too.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
If I was likely to go out in thunderstorms I may well do that Happy

But that's unlikely...

Me falling over is very likely however!
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Wearing a spine protector for average piste riding is ridiculous and completely unnecessary, as unnecessary as wearing it for going for a run round a town or cycling to work.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
From what I've seen (anecdotal of course) it's not, I've had a friend who could have avoided injury (possibly of course, can't be proved) by wearing one. For the sake of £100 or less I'm struggling to see the fierce objection?

Not to say they are necessary, I'm just struggling to understand the pretty extreme level of objection here?

To clarifyi, I don't doubt you are more experienced than me, I'm just trying to understand why you feel so strongly about this?
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Its not the wearing of gear that gets me in this, each to their own and all that, but the subtle implication that snowboarding is more dangerous and more injurious than other winter sports and that YOU NEED TO HAVE all these protective items to ride safely. The best way to prevent injury is be be a better rider through better technique, practice, and awareness.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
But whilst learning to snowboard did you not find you fell over a fair bit?

I've had a few ski lessons too and I fall over a lot less doing that!!!

That said I prefer boarding so want to persist with it and simply want to reduce injury, I don't think that's the same as saying snowboarding is more dangerous, simply that at my level I believe I am more likely to fall over, at your level perhaps not!

Eitehr way I'm still struggling to see th objection, effectively the cost isn't prohibitive, so even if the reduction in risk is minimal, as I'm not a racer, so performance isn't an issue are you saying it really is a bad idea to get a back protector?
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@vjmehra, Go for it. You know it makes sense.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@vjmehra, yup, fell over heaps. I wore wristguards, which I have since given to someone on this site to learn with. Personally I really don't think a back protector is necessary.

Wear what you like, it's up to you, frankly no-one will know under your jacket. You've asked for advice, you've been given the collective thoughts, the choice is now yours.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
All I'm suggesting is that someone learning to snowboard doesn't need a back protector in the same way they don't need an avalanche transceiver. If you want one, go get one. I don't doubt that you'll soon have a story about how it saved you that time when X happened.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Surprised you don't wear one for SBX races.

Otherwise generally agree it's overkill for ordinary piste riding unless you are protecting against someone rear ending you. If your riding involves trees, rocks and rails then a matter of personal choice.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

don't doubt that you'll soon have a story about how it saved you that time when X happened.


Already engineering that story wink
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
... Otherwise generally agree it's overkill for ordinary piste riding unless you are protecting against someone rear ending you. If your riding involves trees, rocks and rails then a matter of personal choice.
But beginners (see thread title), typically start on a beginner lift, so they aren't yet even doing "ordinary piste riding". They should be nowhere near trees, rocks or rails, or anyone who could "rear end" them.

It sounds like you're equipping these guys for battle, not snowboarding. The first thing I'd do is get them to dump all that junk and understand that the most important safety factor is the bit between their ears.
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My objection is that, of course, a helmet, body armour, padded shorts, knee pads, wrist-guards, elbow guards, spine-protector etc. do all make you a little bit safer. And each makes snowboarding only a little bit more awkward. But wear the whole lot and you're turning yourself into a puffing, sweaty mess for no reason.

I'm both a mountain-bike guide and a snowboard instructor. For both sports, I really hate it when people turn up wearing way too much protection. You know that they're going to be knackered by lunch-time because they're just carrying too much hot, restrictive kit.

@Dave of the Marmottes, I wore spine/upper-body protection selectively for SBX races. On "small" courses, against the clock I didn't wear any armour (except lightly-padded shorts). On big courses or for head-to-head racing, I wore protection. Started out with a full upper-body suit, but couldn't bear it. Switched to a simple spine protector.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Just on the off chance anyone is interested I went for the Evoc Protector Jacket (which is short sleeved, despite the name), but replaced the shoulder pads and spine protector with D3o (you can buy the inserts seperately)!

I also got some Demon elbow guards (the non d3o version in this case)!

All in all, I'm pretty pleased with the fit, won't get to test them on the slopes for a couple of weeks, but with the d3o inserts it feels comfortable and lightweight, not really noticeable under a fleece at all, I think I will just wear it in place of a t-shirt, over a baselayer.
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@stevomcd, as an instructor would you advise the use of any protection apart from a helmet for beginners? Do most folk go for wrist guards to start?

First day on real snow a few weeks ago- just had helmet, lots of falls, but came away unharmed. Worst was when an out of control skier took me out from behind!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
its great that people are learning to snowboard, if they feel the need to wear head to toe protection then so be it.

its not necessary though, you'll be spending more money than you need and probably enjoy yourself less.

taking a few knocks and getting straight back up is character building Cool
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:
taking a few knocks and getting straight back up is character building


Unless its on hard packed snow on a Saturday at Hemel Shocked

My (constantly evolving) view on protection is that comfort is an issue, but gear is getting better and better in that respect all the time. Also conditions dictate a lot. On an icy day I'd feel nervous without padding, on a fluffy powder day far less so (but thats just me).

The only bits of protection I have never boarded without are crash shorts and wrist guards personally, when learning I quickly got knee guards too as I felt I would be pretty bruised without them. It is totally different to skiing in that respect, for which I had no protection and it didn't really bother me!
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
wearing protection (crash pants, knee guards etc) imo gives the user the knowledge that they can fall safely without getting hurt.

When ever I ride though a learner area its full of beginners throwing themselves on the floor in the knowledge that its not going to hurt.

I remember teaching a friend a few years ago who when going from heal to toe would lean back and fall on there back bottom before initiating the turn. The reason being that she knew that she had padding on her back bottom and was happy to fall on it and so never committed to the turn.

take away that luxury and imo people will try much harder to stay on there feet and the learning curve will be so much steeper.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
true...but also I would wager many learners simply give up because they fall over so much and unless the conditions are good that can hurt enough to be offputting for many!

Also specifically with wrist guards I would suggest that having always worn them I naturally fall in a certain way anyway, i.e. I don't try to fall wrist first, so perhaps they are even a good learning tool Happy

Personally I never like to fall anyway, regardless of padding, but thats just competitiveness!!!
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
New to this forum. Hello everyone. I board but apart from a helmet, which is an absoulute must in my view, I don't use protective gear unless I am in the park which, if you are just beginning to learn to board, might be a little way down the track. Padding is very useful there as the jumps etc are made of very compact snow and make for a heavy landing. Wrist guards can be useful and members of the family do use them. Learning good technique is the key so as to keep control and reduce the incidents of hard falls.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Hello @PDH, welcome to SnowHeads.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Thank you. Your welcome is much appreciated.
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