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Do any of you use protective body armor gear?

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

Being a skier, skiing a lot, eventually your going to go down.  If not, you may not be exploring new peaks of excitement.

After taking a hard lick, and busting some ribs, I decided to get some armor.  Just a jacket for now, but shorts are on the list now as well.

Yes people, I am aware that most all ski racers have to wear a back protector.  I'm talking about non competition skiers, just recreational skiers.

At 50 yrs. now, it seems a helmet is not enough.  Look at what I got.  No, it's not invincible, but I see it as better than nothing.

What say you?  Will you get something like this, or do you already have one?  If so do you use it?

 

Here it is: 

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 39

Suit looks cool.   I wear Dianese padded shorts, HEAD back protector, Leki or Reusch armored GS gloves (usually), Salomon full-face skier-cross helmet.   I used to use knee support, but they were restricting my movement.   I also bought full upper body armor by Six Six One, but it was sized for guys with spaghetti arms and I couldnt get into it without either ripping it apart or cutting off my circulation, and it didnt fit under my GS suit...so I returned my $300 cyborg jacket.   As far as protection, I think other than the full face helmet none of that stuff is going to help me much except in really unusual circumstances.   I managed to break my back, break my thumb, tweak my knee, and smash my face even with all this protective gear.

 

Ill say this much though, 2 season ago I was walking down some diamond plate metal steps at Hunter and slipped, landed full weight with gear on back on my left elbow....wow that hurt like you would not believe...I was seeing stars.   Didnt bother to get an X-ray since the elbow was still working but took over a year to feel better and now I feel an indentation in the bone and it still hurts if I lean on it in certain positions.   Had I been wearing armor like yours I would not have chipped my elbow bone.

post #3 of 39

I wear shin guards and use hands guards for slalom, a stealth top and back protector for GS and SG.

post #4 of 39
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post

Suit looks cool.   I wear Dianese padded shorts, HEAD back protector, Leki or Reusch armored GS gloves (usually), Salomon full-face skier-cross helmet.   I used to use knee support, but they were restricting my movement.   I also bought full upper body armor by Six Six One, but it was sized for guys with spaghetti arms and I couldnt get into it without either ripping it apart or cutting off my circulation, and it didnt fit under my GS suit...so I returned my $300 cyborg jacket.   As far as protection, I think other than the full face helmet none of that stuff is going to help me much except in really unusual circumstances.   I managed to break my back, break my thumb, tweak my knee, and smash my face even with all this protective gear.

 

Ill say this much though, 2 season ago I was walking down some diamond plate metal steps at Hunter and slipped, landed full weight with gear on back on my left elbow....wow that hurt like you would not believe...I was seeing stars.   Didnt bother to get an X-ray since the elbow was still working but took over a year to feel better and now I feel an indentation in the bone and it still hurts if I lean on it in certain positions.   Had I been wearing armor like yours I would not have chipped my elbow bone.



Richie, sounds like your racing.  I'm just free skiing.  I know most racers are wearing something.  I also am aware that it's only a minor degree of protection. 

I do appreciate your feed back.  Sounds like you have put all that stuff to the test!  I feel that what I have would not have prevented my injury because it was "arm up, side chest slam", yet I still felt compelled to get it.

Be good!

post #5 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Betaracer View Post

I wear shin guards and use hands guards for slalom, a stealth top and back protector for GS and SG.



Again, I know you gate smashers are sporting plastic.  I'm talking about recreational skiing.

I'm thinking about the Spyder Stealth d30 shorts.  They seem like a good idea.

Be good!

post #6 of 39

IMO, armor (as in, back, shoulders) is a great idea for speed and freeride events. But for rec skiing, a few sessions with a personal trainer that set up balance and agility, core work + a few lessons with a Level III are money better spent. And I'm way over 50, go down hard from time to time, wore armor for many years every time I went out on my motorcycles so comfortable with it. But high performance driving school vs. extra air bags, I guess...

post #7 of 39

I hit a tree with my back last year. Wouldn't have been bad to have a back protector. My kids both wear them.

post #8 of 39

When I ski in potentially-dangerous situations (Jackson, ski cross competitions, etc) I wear a Demon Venom vest.  It's kinda cheap, and uncomfortable as hell to wear.  I wore it while racing once, taking a hard spill landing on my chest... I still was in pain, but perhaps it spared some ribs... who knows.

 

I would strongly advise not getting the Demon Venom vest (though it is cheap yet still safe) because it is VERY uncomfortable.  Then again, maybe my build just sucks for it.

post #9 of 39

Thanks for that.  It looks interesting.  My ribs are killing me too.  I'm not sure if exactly what they made contact with (maybe ski or pole got between me and the snow as I was slammed into it); I was concentrating on minimizing impact to the head even though I was wearing a helmet. 

 

I was not racing, only skiing recreationally, but I was doing my best to carve a very clean hard gs turn where one black (local ratings)  run intersected a blue, so I could carry enough momentum to ski up the blue to another black(ish) run that peeled off the blue a little higher up the hill.  It seems I was paying a little too much attention to looking for traffic coming down the blue onto which I was merging and not enough attention to the bump where the two trails met.  I had done the same route a few times, but this time my line was a little higher and when the impact came, my outside ski's heel released, inside ski caught and SLAM!   I had just enough time to do a front breakfall (helmet still mad a little contact with snow despite my best efforts).  I have trouble sitting up to get out of bed; I accidentally leaned against a shelf the other day and recoiled in pain; I can't use my left arm with any force or much on my right;  I had to take two trips to get my groceries up to the fourth floor;  it took me 15 minutes to scrape the ice off the car window yesterday;  I'm guessing I got bruised ribs a bruised lung on that side, and a possible hematoma.  No visible external bruising yet though. 

 

I do wonder if the protection would have done  all that much; it seems the impact was already spread all the way across half the ribs on that side.

post #10 of 39

I usually wear helmet, kneepads, polycarbonate sunglasses or goggles, and gloves. Gloves as protective gear might sound odd, but I've seen pretty bad abrasions when a friend fell barehanded skiing on very warm day (wet granular snow).

 

I remember seeing snowboarding gloves with wrist guards built in them. Does anyone know where I can get a pair? If I ski before my fractured radius is completely healed, I'll wear the splint my doctor has prescribed but my hand might get cold. A glove with similar support/protection built in might work better.

post #11 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

IMO, armor (as in, back, shoulders) is a great idea for speed and freeride events. But for rec skiing, a few sessions with a personal trainer that set up balance and agility, core work + a few lessons with a Level III are money better spent. And I'm way over 50, go down hard from time to time, wore armor for many years every time I went out on my motorcycles so comfortable with it. But high performance driving school vs. extra air bags, I guess...


Beyond, you are inferring that I am a crappy skier.  I don't need any lessons.  I do appreciate feed back.  The best skiers will go down.  Ever see a World Cup event?  Maybe you need to try new stuff, and not be so boring of a skier! :-)
 

post #12 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post

I hit a tree with my back last year. Wouldn't have been bad to have a back protector. My kids both wear them.



That's great that you love your kids!  Thanks!  Get one for yourself too!

post #13 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoredAtBMBW View Post

When I ski in potentially-dangerous situations (Jackson, ski cross competitions, etc) I wear a Demon Venom vest.  It's kinda cheap, and uncomfortable as hell to wear.  I wore it while racing once, taking a hard spill landing on my chest... I still was in pain, but perhaps it spared some ribs... who knows.

 

I would strongly advise not getting the Demon Venom vest (though it is cheap yet still safe) because it is VERY uncomfortable.  Then again, maybe my build just sucks for it.


Thanks Bored!  Now that's good info!  I found the Dainese I got to be very comfortable.  Maybe a little less armor than the Demon.  

I think you might be right about your fall being much worse without the armor to spread out the blow.  Thanks!
 

post #14 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

Thanks for that.  It looks interesting.  My ribs are killing me too.  I'm not sure if exactly what they made contact with (maybe ski or pole got between me and the snow as I was slammed into it); I was concentrating on minimizing impact to the head even though I was wearing a helmet. 

 

I was not racing, only skiing recreationally, but I was doing my best to carve a very clean hard gs turn where one black (local ratings)  run intersected a blue, so I could carry enough momentum to ski up the blue to another black(ish) run that peeled off the blue a little higher up the hill.  It seems I was paying a little too much attention to looking for traffic coming down the blue onto which I was merging and not enough attention to the bump where the two trails met.  I had done the same route a few times, but this time my line was a little higher and when the impact came, my outside ski's heel released, inside ski caught and SLAM!   I had just enough time to do a front breakfall (helmet still mad a little contact with snow despite my best efforts).  I have trouble sitting up to get out of bed; I accidentally leaned against a shelf the other day and recoiled in pain; I can't use my left arm with any force or much on my right;  I had to take two trips to get my groceries up to the fourth floor;  it took me 15 minutes to scrape the ice off the car window yesterday;  I'm guessing I got bruised ribs a bruised lung on that side, and a possible hematoma.  No visible external bruising yet though. 

 

I do wonder if the protection would have done  all that much; it seems the impact was already spread all the way across half the ribs on that side.



Great story Ghost!  It goes to show, the best will go down sometimes.  Funny we are both suffering from broken ribs!  Get better soon.  I'll do the same.  Have skis to tune, and Zoom Box, and I'm not sure how I'll do in the shop.  I'm going to try today.  Been 8 days now since my brutal fall.  See, ya!

 

PS I found that if I have to cough, I use a sash to wrap around the hurting area until it hurts a little, then cough softly.  This makes it not so painful.  I'm able to clear mucus, so that's good!

post #15 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post

I usually wear helmet, kneepads, polycarbonate sunglasses or goggles, and gloves. Gloves as protective gear might sound odd, but I've seen pretty bad abrasions when a friend fell barehanded skiing on very warm day (wet granular snow).

 

I remember seeing snowboarding gloves with wrist guards built in them. Does anyone know where I can get a pair? If I ski before my fractured radius is completely healed, I'll wear the splint my doctor has prescribed but my hand might get cold. A glove with similar support/protection built in might work better.



Tele, here you go!    http://www.gear.com/s/wrist-protection

post #16 of 39

Some ski outerwear manufacturers are using flexible "armor" in their equipment.  Kjus, for instance, uses a type of gel that is flexible during normal use but hardens on impact (it releases after the impact).  It's not as protective as real armor, but is much more comfortable.

 

CJ

post #17 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJO View Post

Some ski outerwear manufacturers are using flexible "armor" in their equipment.  Kjus, for instance, uses a type of gel that is flexible during normal use but hardens on impact (it releases after the impact).  It's not as protective as real armor, but is much more comfortable.

 

CJ


Yes CJO.  Spyder also has their d3o line that does the same thing.  They are great, and better under a race suit.  The stuff does work.  Goes from a spongy feel to a harder rubber feel when hit.
Good info. Thanks.

post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

Thanks for that.  It looks interesting.  My ribs are killing me too.  I'm not sure if exactly what they made contact with (maybe ski or pole got between me and the snow as I was slammed into it); I was concentrating on minimizing impact to the head even though I was wearing a helmet. 

 

I was not racing, only skiing recreationally, but I was doing my best to carve a very clean hard gs turn where one black (local ratings)  run intersected a blue, so I could carry enough momentum to ski up the blue to another black(ish) run that peeled off the blue a little higher up the hill.  It seems I was paying a little too much attention to looking for traffic coming down the blue onto which I was merging and not enough attention to the bump where the two trails met.  I had done the same route a few times, but this time my line was a little higher and when the impact came, my outside ski's heel released, inside ski caught and SLAM!   I had just enough time to do a front breakfall (helmet still mad a little contact with snow despite my best efforts).  I have trouble sitting up to get out of bed; I accidentally leaned against a shelf the other day and recoiled in pain; I can't use my left arm with any force or much on my right;  I had to take two trips to get my groceries up to the fourth floor;  it took me 15 minutes to scrape the ice off the car window yesterday;  I'm guessing I got bruised ribs a bruised lung on that side, and a possible hematoma.  No visible external bruising yet though. 

 

I do wonder if the protection would have done  all that much; it seems the impact was already spread all the way across half the ribs on that side.



Great story Ghost!  It goes to show, the best will go down sometimes.  Funny we are both suffering from broken ribs!  Get better soon.  I'll do the same.  Have skis to tune, and Zoom Box, and I'm not sure how I'll do in the shop.  I'm going to try today.  Been 8 days now since my brutal fall.  See, ya!

 

PS I found that if I have to cough, I use a sash to wrap around the hurting area until it hurts a little, then cough softly.  This makes it not so painful.  I'm able to clear mucus, so that's good!

I'm pretty sure mine are just bruised this time around (last time was day 2 of an 11 day canoe trip - with lots of portaging).  Maybe lung a little bruised too.  It's not enough to keep me from skiing.  I'll be skiing on the week end, and I'll be fine in about two weeks.  Your broken ribs will take longer (guessing about 6 weeks from injury).  Don't let it get you down, and don't push too hard on the recovery trail (been there done that).

 

Did I mention how much l hate sneezing right now, and how much funnier jokes are when I'm trying not to laugh? 

 

Coughing?  Don't do that!  Take Benilyn with Codiene instead.  Slowly clearing your throat is ok.

 


 

post #19 of 39

Jacques, thanks for the post that looks like a good product, I ski the woods a lot and I can see that it could protect quite a few body parts with that jacket. Any website info for that?

post #20 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowbowler View Post

Jacques, thanks for the post that looks like a good product, I ski the woods a lot and I can see that it could protect quite a few body parts with that jacket. Any website info for that?



I'm sure you can find some examples at gear.com.  Because it's a small market, there's not too many stores.  Google Dainese protective wear.  I bet a good Motocross motor cycle shop will have the connection you need.  I got mine over the phone from the San Francisco store.  I was referred to them by the Costa Mesa store.  I live in Oregon.  Portland has a store too.  I got it from Frisco because they had my size in stock.  Small is not made a lot.  Most "guys" that might use this stuff are way more "buff" than me! :-)     Be good!

post #21 of 39
Thread Starter 

PS Feeling better.  10 days later did maybe six turns (runs) on smooth groom today.  That was all I could handle.  Have not slept for anything in all that time.  Lying down is the worst.  I think it was good to get my blood moving though.

post #22 of 39

Jaques while I do do some recreational racing, I wear my armor at all times I am skiing.  

post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

IMO, armor (as in, back, shoulders) is a great idea for speed and freeride events. But for rec skiing, a few sessions with a personal trainer that set up balance and agility, core work + a few lessons with a Level III are money better spent. And I'm way over 50, go down hard from time to time, wore armor for many years every time I went out on my motorcycles so comfortable with it. But high performance driving school vs. extra air bags, I guess...


Beyond, you are inferring that I am a crappy skier.  I don't need any lessons.  I do appreciate feed back.  The best skiers will go down.  Ever see a World Cup event?  Maybe you need to try new stuff, and not be so boring of a skier! :-)
 


Wow, little reactive, are we? I could care one way or the other about your skiing ability, and never inferred a damn thing about it. Read my statement. I'm basing my reply on your own words about age: "At 50 years now, it seems like a helmet is not enough." That's your premise, not mine. So in responding to your premise, I argued that one way to counter the inevitable effects of age is for us (I include myself since I'm older than you and my fav places to ski are steep chutes and trees) to ramp up work on balance agility etc. (any decent physical trainer or MD who specializes in skiers will say the same thing). Another is to make sure we're not making small mistakes that may lead to an occasional extra crash. Unless you're a PSIA examiner for Level III's, or a former WC skier, you, like the rest of us mortals, could probably benefit from lessons. You may even (gasp) have little quirks that are biomechanically inefficient. If you think otherwise, you're deluding yourself. And if you think you're as quick, or as well balanced, or as strong, as you were at 25, then you're either deluding yourself again, or you should report to a good exercise physiology facility to be the subject of someone's Nobel. And yes, I've seen a WC event. Several actually. And yes, everyone falls, from beginners to elites. And yes, I can understand your discomfort and anxiety, because I've also had busted ribs, as well as several other body bits, some at ages past yours. But since you're already at the Olympian peak of fitness, balance, and performance - despite your concern over your age - then obviously the only thing that'll help you is armor, so sure, go suit up.  rolleyes.gif

 

post #24 of 39

 

What was the name of the semi-indie clothing company that had a ski coat with internal pro?   I think Tyrone may have been associated with them?

post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post

 

What was the name of the semi-indie clothing company that had a ski coat with internal pro?   I think Tyrone may have been associated with them?


Recall the images, can't remember the friggin name. IMO the best stuff was and probably still is made by motorcycling suppliers. Goes over the longies, under the jacket. Serious protection designed for focused penetration (think guard rails) or abrasion (think asphalt). Obviously similar ideas can be had from POC etc. but less clear on how light weight stuff works against penetration and abrasion is mostly irrelevant except for downhill guys. None of this, though, will help much against blunt force impact (like that that breaks ribs) unless you use air bladders, thick EPP, other weird flak jacket stuff. Too bulky; looked at a sore-ribbed QB in action? External setups for use with jackets also makes them stiff and bulky. Works fine for cycling leathers or one piecers out of thick nylon where freedom of movement is secondary to protection, I had some custom leather by Vanson made up that way. Not so great I suspect for sports where you have to do a lot of sudden rotary or up and down movements. (Image of medieval knight getting lowered onto his horse by wooden crane...)

post #26 of 39


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
None of this, though, will help much against blunt force impact (like that that breaks ribs) unless you use air bladders, thick EPP, other weird flak jacket stuff. Too bulky; looked at a sore-ribbed QB in action?

 

The one particular material I was looking at for exactly the no-abrasion very-blunt-force impact you describe is Confor foam, aka astronaut seat padding material.    Not too very exotic nowadays, but even with graduated firmness we'd probably be looking at inch+ thickness.

post #27 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

IMO, armor (as in, back, shoulders) is a great idea for speed and freeride events. But for rec skiing, a few sessions with a personal trainer that set up balance and agility, core work + a few lessons with a Level III are money better spent. And I'm way over 50, go down hard from time to time, wore armor for many years every time I went out on my motorcycles so comfortable with it. But high performance driving school vs. extra air bags, I guess...


Beyond, you are inferring that I am a crappy skier.  I don't need any lessons.  I do appreciate feed back.  The best skiers will go down.  Ever see a World Cup event?  Maybe you need to try new stuff, and not be so boring of a skier! :-)
 


Wow, little reactive, are we? I could care one way or the other about your skiing ability, and never inferred a damn thing about it. Read my statement. I'm basing my reply on your own words about age: "At 50 years now, it seems like a helmet is not enough." That's your premise, not mine. So in responding to your premise, I argued that one way to counter the inevitable effects of age is for us (I include myself since I'm older than you and my fav places to ski are steep chutes and trees) to ramp up work on balance agility etc. (any decent physical trainer or MD who specializes in skiers will say the same thing). Another is to make sure we're not making small mistakes that may lead to an occasional extra crash. Unless you're a PSIA examiner for Level III's, or a former WC skier, you, like the rest of us mortals, could probably benefit from lessons. You may even (gasp) have little quirks that are biomechanically inefficient. If you think otherwise, you're deluding yourself. And if you think you're as quick, or as well balanced, or as strong, as you were at 25, then you're either deluding yourself again, or you should report to a good exercise physiology facility to be the subject of someone's Nobel. And yes, I've seen a WC event. Several actually. And yes, everyone falls, from beginners to elites. And yes, I can understand your discomfort and anxiety, because I've also had busted ribs, as well as several other body bits, some at ages past yours. But since you're already at the Olympian peak of fitness, balance, and performance - despite your concern over your age - then obviously the only thing that'll help you is armor, so sure, go suit up.  rolleyes.gif

 



Wow, that a long one!  OK, you are saying I'm out of shape, and that's why I fell!  OK, cool.  I'm very slight, and small, but I'm in good shape for my age.  Be good!

post #28 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post

Jaques while I do do some recreational racing, I wear my armor at all times I am skiing.  



Thanks for your letting us know.  I used my Evolution Jacket yesterday for the first time.  Did 5 or 6 runs, smooth groom.  That's all I could do.  Don't want to delay healing.  I could move fine in it.  Plenty comfortable.  Just I was stiff as a begining skier! 

post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

IMO, armor (as in, back, shoulders) is a great idea for speed and freeride events. But for rec skiing, a few sessions with a personal trainer that set up balance and agility, core work + a few lessons with a Level III are money better spent. And I'm way over 50, go down hard from time to time, wore armor for many years every time I went out on my motorcycles so comfortable with it. But high performance driving school vs. extra air bags, I guess...



+1. 

 

It's not a knock about ability or fitness. Most great skiers can still get better. And most really fit people have weaknesses. I've worked with Olympic sprinters and found weaknesses with them. And once we find them, we can fix them and make them even more impressive.

 

If you're skiing serious off-piste lines, then body armour is a great idea. If you're skiing at a ski resort, then you're better off with the advice above. Remember that there are downsides to armour. It can prevent proper movement in surrounding joints. Although maybe the technology is so good these days that it is less of a concern. Still - turning your body into a machine will be more effective than covering it with one.

 

Elsbeth 

post #30 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by evaino View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

IMO, armor (as in, back, shoulders) is a great idea for speed and freeride events. But for rec skiing, a few sessions with a personal trainer that set up balance and agility, core work + a few lessons with a Level III are money better spent. And I'm way over 50, go down hard from time to time, wore armor for many years every time I went out on my motorcycles so comfortable with it. But high performance driving school vs. extra air bags, I guess...



+1. 

 

It's not a knock about ability or fitness. Most great skiers can still get better. And most really fit people have weaknesses. I've worked with Olympic sprinters and found weaknesses with them. And once we find them, we can fix them and make them even more impressive.

 

If you're skiing serious off-piste lines, then body armour is a great idea. If you're skiing at a ski resort, then you're better off with the advice above. Remember that there are downsides to armour. It can prevent proper movement in surrounding joints. Although maybe the technology is so good these days that it is less of a concern. Still - turning your body into a machine will be more effective than covering it with one.

 

Elsbeth 



FYI  I was "off piste" when I went down.  It was not soft pow.  It was maybe a touch of "corn" over ice.  I really don't appreciate all this BS about I must be out of shape, or I'm a crapy skier.

 

On the other hand this is an Internet forum, so I do expect some ........."s".     

 

Then again I feel like you have not skied with me so you are taking huge leaps into your own greatness!

 

If you come to Mt. Bachelor, give me a call, and I'll let you follow me for a while.  If you have half a brain, you'll have my phone No., and address in about 38 seconds. 

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