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Cut and puncture resistant ski clothes?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

After reading  a thread about puncture injury by ski pole. I naturally start wondering if ski clothes manufacturer test their garment for laceration and puncture resistance. Laceration resistant material that allow unrestricted movement exist but I have never heard of it being used in ski clothes or racing suits. Would you like this feature in your ski clothes?


As reported in the thread and sites below, it seems that injury caused by ski edges and sharp objects happen.






Aksel Svindal lacerations to groin and abdomen terminate his 2007-2008 season.


At least one fatality occurred because of a cut on femoral artery by ski edges.


I remember seeing a boot fitter from Tahoe telling his grave quadriceps laceration injury while falling on his ski edges. The photos were very graphic.


I had a client that cut his kneecap on his ski that requires stitches. I for myself, cut my spring ski pants and long underwear completely from hem to butt on my right leg when I was 20. It could have been much worse but left me with only a scratch on my right hamstring to my butt. Awkward, scary and funny at the same time.


So those cut happen but the frequency is hard to assess and to further complicate the issue the reporting is hard to access and are probably under reported. See this site for more detail: http://www.calskisafety.org/national-ski-statistics.html


Is there some possible solutions available?


I don't know if any sport wear can prevent puncture injuries but there is a company that makes hockey socks that seems to protect from laceration from hockey blades. It would be easy enough to incorporate this material into ski wear and racing suits to prevent laceration of at least most critical area like thorax and femoral artery.


http://www.tuffnlitehockey.com/ see video on page to see how it works. They also make extreme sport underwear. http://www.tuffnlite.com/order_sports.html


Some other material exist as well. Another company make laceration proof and puncture proof material for glove mainly:



Does anybody knows more about this?


Your comments would be appreciated.





post #2 of 27

Some of the most rugged ski clothing I've worn has been from FlyLow. 

I wore their pants for ski school last year and loved how rugged they were. 


I'll tag some of their stuff on the side column for you to take a look 

post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks, I will take a look.

post #4 of 27

Assuming you aren't talking about body armor to actually prevent wounds, I think there's a built-in dilemma here: On the one hand, we all would like clothing that resists abrasion and cutting and wears like iron. On the other, we all would like clothing that has a "soft hand," as the upscale types say, yet is light and breathes. Not sure the two coexist in peace except anecdotally; everybody has a favorite shell that's lasted through limited thermonuclear war, and everybody's had a sucky shell that cowered in fear at a small twig grazing by.


The solution? Decide whether you can afford to replace your gear every two years or two decades. If (b), then invest in Gore Tex iron-on patches. Sh*t happens. 

post #5 of 27

Ah, the good old days of 'safety straps' and windmilling skis... now that was worth a few cuts and whacks! Trying to mitigate that last .01% of risk is an exercise in futility, but there's always room for more in the good old risk averse US of A sports market. Three reasonable choices really: body armor ( $15 knee pads would have protected the knee in your example, pcaron), accept the very very small amount of risk, or drop skiing for bowling during the winter months. Come to think of it, I'm sure they must have steel toes for bowling shoes these days too, and maybe helmets in case the next lane over goes all 'Flintstone' on you. :)

post #6 of 27

I wear Carhartt winter pants. They are double layer on the front of the legs like the work pants and waterproof with some breathable fabric. Full side zips. After 3 (or is it 4?) years, they still look like new and keep me dry. I am in the trees as often as not so they get a beating. I also wear them coaching which is tough on gear. The only drawback is they are fairly heavy, but for the protection I can stand the extra few ounces. One of these days I'm going to look into their jackets. I have far too many tears in my coats and repairs are costing me too much. http://www.carhartt.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?Nao=0&langId=-1&Ntk=All&productId=111800&catalogId=10101&Nu=RollupKey&recordPerPage=24&Nty=1&Ntt=b216&storeId=10051&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&y=0&N=0&Ns=IsOutletSKU%7C0&x=0&ddkey=http:CarharttSearchCmd

post #7 of 27

Several different manufacturers make jackets and pants with rip-stop or kelvar reinforcements on shoulders, butt, knees elbows. Like Beyond said there can be a trade off for a jacket made completely of a rigid fabric.  Most here value wind/waterproofness with breatheability. Fabrics like goretex proshell and others are plenty durable and the reality is that a pointy branch or other will puncture regardless (unless its all kelvar) and a ski edge is the same. So if you value the battle ready wear; heavy stiff jacket or pants made from a kevlar type fabric you will most certainly  give up some of the other benefits like wind waterproofness and def' breatheability.

post #8 of 27

Ripstop properties used to be coded into the fabric specs  (e.g. 220NR fabric meant 2.2 oz/yd Nylon Ripstop) .


If you're /really/ worried, go get a short track skinsuit.    http://www.speedskatingshop.com/product/louis-garneau-cut-resistant-suit-48/ 


Nothing quite like falling and getting jumped across by 10-20 people wearing knives on their feet to motivate cut-resistant designs.

post #9 of 27

Sounds like the OP is worried about injury. Honestly, I doubt that is a big issue under most normal circumstances. However, if I were worried about it, I'd look at the current crop of body armor. Lots of manufacturers  make it for skiing, mtb, etc. The D3O (or whatever it is called) is soft and flexy but instant hardening. Anyway - any decent heavier weight shell will be sensibly puncture and tear resistant. But if you are worried about injury - get the stuff designed to prevent it.


Too bad the Aegix outerwear with the integral self hardening armor is no longer in the game...

Edited by spindrift - 7/24/12 at 10:19am
post #10 of 27

dianese stuff is pretty awesome. but I agree, what's the concern?

post #11 of 27

I think it might have been a probe to see whether there /was/ concern.   


For my own part, the answer is 'no'.   


EDIT: and if there was, it would be blunt impact concern (requiring energy absorption solutions), not stabbing (requiring impact spreading armor solutions) concern, not slashing (requiring cut resistance solutions) concern.

Edited by cantunamunch - 7/24/12 at 10:20am
post #12 of 27

yeah, I went back and actually read the whole post..... 



He was just asking opinions on a couple of different brands.  I am guilty of not paying attention.

post #13 of 27

For me, getting snagged on branches is a real problem. Many posters on Epic talk about their need to ski the trees, that I think that snagging and getting lanced on trees is a reality for many. I am far more likely to get snagged by branches than actually impact a tree trunk. Self inflicted wounds from poles and edges certainly do happen, but not frequently. But when they do, they can be nasty. A pole to the groin and you can bleed out in minutes. Aksel Lund Svindal showed us how much damage a ski edge can do. Granted he was going faster than most on the sharpest skis possible, but just look at your pant cuffs to see the cuts that your edges can do just skiing, much less falling.


The Carhartts I wear have no holes from the many things I've encountered and the area around the cuffs are slice free. I know that they are more durable than any other pants I've worn (Descente, Marker, North Face) as the other pants have multiple cuts along the cuffs and holes from branches. I also once took a pole tip to the thigh. It cut (not tore) through my pants and long underwear but stopped at the second layer of the duofold long johns. I know my Carhartt pants have protected me from punctures and lacerations. That's why I'm considering the jacket for this season. I also try to ski with the collar of my coat fully zipped so that my neck has a layer of jacket around it. You don't even want to nick your carotid out on the hill.

post #14 of 27

You should take a look at Trew....Burly stuff.

post #15 of 27

Sounds like you are describing a textile motorcycle riding suit.

post #16 of 27

First link went bad, here is the link to ISU rule 1265 for cut resistant clothing:



post #17 of 27

so someone needs to come up with a chainmail mid-layer? Flexible and if you did much hiking you'd be in great shape. beercheer.gif

post #18 of 27
Originally Posted by skejunky View Post

so someone needs to come up with a chainmail mid-layer? Flexible and if you did much hiking you'd be in great shape. beercheer.gif




  I did a few cuir bouilli projects last season, mostly with skiable gloves.    The hardening was excellent;  getting them cosmetically acceptable is a bit tricky.





Mail isn't very good at stabbing protection or energy absorption; shark mail is already out there.

Edited by cantunamunch - 7/27/12 at 12:08pm
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thank you everybody for your contribution to this thread. There was some really usefull comments. I was away camping so I was not able to be there to follow.


Yes it was a probe to see if people see a need and know how frequent the problem is and second if people knew of any material that would fill that need. World Cup athletes see the need. They petitioned FIS for the compulsory use of cut resistant underclothing. If you want to know more about this check this link. Hopefully, if the rule pass it could make skiing safer.




 I was mostly worried about young skiers in racing suit but i also realized that the problem can happen with regular skiing clothes. I also forgot to mention that I know one person from Mill Valley who was skiing at Alpine Meadow with his daughter when he felt on sharp rocks and cut himself opened from his abdominal muscles down to his leg. He got airlifted in a critical condition and the recovery was more than a year long.


I played hockey and never heard of people getting cut by skate but it seems that it happens often enough to trigger legislation for neck protections. Hockey and speed skating make material that seems light, flexible and breathable enough to be very usable. See the following material:http://www.fttex.com/shorttrack_en.html


Please be aware that I am not trying to sell fear and I have no vested interest in any manufacturer. It seems to me that if I think of my own experience and of the people I know, which is a small sample, those things happened more than you would think. Everybody know that running with knife and scissors is not a good idea but I don't know anybody that cut themselves while doing so. It doesn't mean that the risk does not exist and nobody would argue with the good sense of not dashing with sharp objects. On the opposite, I do know instances of accident caused by sharp edges and objects while skiing. It seem that solutions are there but the awareness or perception of need is not there in the general public or ski gear manufacturer. JMHO.

post #20 of 27
Interesting! I just had a fairly serious laceration skiing New Year's Eve. I was not going very fast and was on an easy hill. Just caught my edges or something and fell on my ski. Super deep cut about 20cm long above the knee, cutting part of my quad tendon and requiring internal stitches and then 22 stitches to close it up. My HH ski pants, thin zipper pants, underwear, and leg were all sliced like butter.
Before this, I had never considered the possibility of it happening.
I'd certainly welcome more durable clothing.
Ottawa, Canada
post #21 of 27

IMO, it's pretty difficult for any practical clothing fabric to stop the cutting/slicing action of a sharp ski edge.


I have a set of safety chaps made for use with a chainsaw, and their safety mechanism is NOT to resist cutting at all, but rather to allow the cutting blade to grab loose fibers from the chaps (residing below the surface nylon layer) which when drawn to the sprocket cause the spocket to seize, and the saw to stall out before the chaps are fully penetrated. The thickness of the loose fiber pads correlates to the CC of the saw you're using, thicker pads for more powerful saws.

post #22 of 27

I was just beginning to research this topic EXACTLY


My seven year old son was skiing (has been for two years) and fell / tumbled, ski came off and he landed on it . . . on his back.  Granted, he has children's skis - the laceration was at least 8" long across his lower back (at belt line).  It was almost 2" deep.  When we first "saw" the injury when he rolled over - everything flashed before us.  I thought he would be paralyzed.


We had a hard time getting the ski patrol, he went to a trauma unit, and had surgery by the trauma surgeon.  We got lucky and no major organs, nerves or spinal cord was hit . .. but easily could have been.


Yes - I understand that the edges are sharp, but some type of protective gear must be developed for critical areas (Neck, Wrist, Back, Femoral Artery area).  If he had landed on his stomach - this injury could have been catastrophic.  I would like to see something developed.  I'm sure it doesn't happen very often - but I had no idea this major of a laceration could happen from a ski.

post #23 of 27

And if they can come up with stuff to lesson a "shark bite" they should be able to do this :)

post #24 of 27

True, but sharks are known to bite. Skis don't usually inflict cuts during falls. But Aksel Lund Svindal might have another opinion about that: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aksel_Lund_Svindal


 On 27 November 2007, during the first training run for the Birds of Prey downhill race in Beaver Creek, Colorado, Svindal crashed badly after landing a jump. He somersaulted into a safety fence and was taken to Vail Valley Medical Center with broken bones in his face and a six-inch (15 cm) laceration to his groin and abdominal area.
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 

Cmom. It seems that the only thing that can work is Kevlar clothing for law enforcement. This can help prevent stabbing. Weight could be an issue. Short track speed skating mandate the use of underwear to prevent slicing by blade during fall or entanglement. Those are are to find and expensive. You can see example here.



post #26 of 27

I've found Gortex to be fairly resistant to ear and puncture. Personally I've found the 'elegant, stretch fabrics' to be very vulnerable. I had 2 pairs of Ksus 'Formula' pants, and a Ksus jacket rip and tear in one season.  Bummer - they were so beautiful..!  :(  Fortunately after making a big stink, I got my money back..

post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 

I also think that the ski clothing manufacturer should implement a level of protection in their clothing. The problem being I am not sure those incident got reported well statistically speaking. For example, death reported as skiing accident must happen at the ski resort. If the accident happens at the ski resort but the victim die at the hospital it is not reported as a skiing fatality.


I know 3 racers last year only that had stitches from their skis cut. Given my small sample it is hard to draw general conclusions as it might be the result of odd chances but also raises some concerns that it might be more widespread than noticed.

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