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What protection is needed?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Been NASTAR and beer league racing pretty regularly for about 6 years now.  Not really a newbie, but still strongly amatuer at this.  Picked up a GS race suit off the clearance rack a few years ago which has a fair amount of padding in it.  Obviously (I think), I wear a helmet when racing.  Took a gate pole across the face a few years back so I added a chin bar to the helmet.  Have some gloves with some built-in armour.  My occassional coach wants me to start getting closer to the gates, maybe even hit a few now and then (radical concept to me, but WTH).  So beyond those basics, what other protections do my fellow racing bears consider necessary?

 

Also, out of curiousity, what is the point with wearing a spine protector?  Is it there in case of a fall?  Heard someone say it's for Slalom racing and it keeps the poles from hitting you in the back.  How do you get hit in the back when racing?

 

 

post #2 of 12

Other than a padded suit and full helmet, my biggest recommendation is gloves with hard knuckle protection rather than just padding. Easy to

nail your hand and once you bruise it, you seem to hit it every time. Some guys use forearm guards for GS also. I've been told NOT to use a face guard for GS-too easy to catch it on a panel.

 

post #3 of 12

For GS and NASTAR type stuff, I only use a helmet. If you're concerned about safety, make sure your helmet has hard protection over the ears instead of just foam and fabric. You can also get a back protector or forearm guards, but I wouldn't bother. Pole and shin guards are also good if you race slalom, but if you're just starting to hit gates, you should ask your coach what you currently need.

 

Back protectors are for falls and slightly improve aerodynamics in a tuck. I think they're mostly used in speed events, but I don't use one (I also don't ski speed events). If slalom or any other gates are hitting you in the back when they spring back up, you're doing something VERY wrong.

post #4 of 12

Just to answer one of your questions, the spine protection is protection related to falls at speed.

x2 on not wearing a chin guard for GS, the guard can catch in a fall and raise the risk of a neck injury. (SL crashes are relatively low speed).

One item I like is a padded d3O shirt which has high tech material pads that are flexible in normal use but when subjected to high speed impacts become solid armor. The forearm guards are nice too - I have had a few good dings - but I haven't bought them yet, they just seem unreasonably expensive for what they are.

I would be a bit cautious about gate bashing assuming you are doing this for fun. It is easy for that to become slower as well as to negatively impact the "countered" upper body position. In the coaching I've gotten, the goal is to brush the gate with the back of the shoulder (really more the back of the side). Plus, do you lose races by a few hundreths? If not, is picking up a few worth the bruises and risk of worse? If you are like me and almost (but not all) everyone I've watched, a cleaner carve and better timing pays more dividends than bashing the gates. If you have a single digit Nastar handicap and are looking for a few more notches bash away.

post #5 of 12

Observation: I don't know about Nastar, but in the beer league I'm familar with, wearing a GS suit would be tres outré. I guess it depends on the league....

 

I'll agree with the others: gloves with hand protection, preferably hard over the knuckles. While you're not supposed to hit the gates with your hand, it happens.

 

A face guard probably creates more risk than it avoids. If you've ever fallen face first wearing a face guard, you'd remember the experience.

post #6 of 12


Forearm guards:  Try Football or other forearm guards that are not marketed as ski guards.  They are in the 10- 20 dollar range and perform great.  I have also heard of people using soccer etc. shin guards for slalom as well as cutting them down for arm guards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vsirin View Post

Just to answer one of your questions, the spine protection is protection related to falls at speed.

x2 on not wearing a chin guard for GS, the guard can catch in a fall and raise the risk of a neck injury. (SL crashes are relatively low speed).

One item I like is a padded d3O shirt which has high tech material pads that are flexible in normal use but when subjected to high speed impacts become solid armor. The forearm guards are nice too - I have had a few good dings - but I haven't bought them yet, they just seem unreasonably expensive for what they are.

I would be a bit cautious about gate bashing assuming you are doing this for fun. It is easy for that to become slower as well as to negatively impact the "countered" upper body position. In the coaching I've gotten, the goal is to brush the gate with the back of the shoulder (really more the back of the side). Plus, do you lose races by a few hundreths? If not, is picking up a few worth the bruises and risk of worse? If you are like me and almost (but not all) everyone I've watched, a cleaner carve and better timing pays more dividends than bashing the gates. If you have a single digit Nastar handicap and are looking for a few more notches bash away.



 

post #7 of 12

A back protector is crucial for GS/SG when blocking gates... I have far too many bruises and scars from gates whipping around and smashing me in the back. If your GS suit has forearm padding, don't worry about getting forearm guards, you'll be fine.

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rise To The Top View Post

A back protector is crucial for GS/SG when blocking gates... I have far too many bruises and scars from gates whipping around and smashing me in the back. If your GS suit has forearm padding, don't worry about getting forearm guards, you'll be fine.


What?? I've NEVER had a GS gate whip around to my back.  No SL gates hit back there either.....

 

post #9 of 12

If you've ever put your arm through a panel, you've probably been whipped in the back pretty badly by a GS/SG gate. It hurts.

 

That said, a back protector is really to help with high(er) speed falls / impacts, not really from gates. That's why you see a lot of big mountain skiers wear them too.

post #10 of 12

When hitting GS gates, if your form is good, you don't really need much especially if you have a padded GS suit.  The gate should hit somewhere from middle arm up to shoulder or maybe on occasion upper thigh.  There are cases though where you might get too close  and hit it with your hand or forearm (or face occasionally like I did on Friday) so they have forearm guards and padded gloves for those mistakes. But to echo what has been said it is much better to carve cleanly than to hit the gates and skid.

 

I'm surprised that a lot of you have never had/have never heard of a GS gate hitting your/someone else's back.  Happened twice last year incredibly painful, barely made it the last 7 gates.

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by skisalot View Post

When hitting GS gates, if your form is good, you don't really need much especially if you have a padded GS suit.  The gate should hit somewhere from middle arm up to shoulder or maybe on occasion upper thigh.  There are cases though where you might get too close  and hit it with your hand or forearm (or face occasionally like I did on Friday) so they have forearm guards and padded gloves for those mistakes. But to echo what has been said it is much better to carve cleanly than to hit the gates and skid.

 

I'm surprised that a lot of you have never had/have never heard of a GS gate hitting your/someone else's back.  Happened twice last year incredibly painful, barely made it the last 7 gates.



If you can hit the gates with your hip, that is the best.

post #12 of 12

Like this.

as_ski_jon_576.jpg

Not like this.

ScottBSmith_Park-City-Utah-Super-G-Ski-Race_.jpg

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