Originally Posted by Tog
I recommend wrist guards and a helmet. Broken wrists are very common and it would blow to ruin a trip with something so stupid. Catching an edge can happen so quickly they call it the "hand of God" as your head is slammed to the snow.
It would also be a good idea to simply get used to falling without putting your hands out. Of course, it's easier to convince yourself to keep your arms in when you're on snow, where it doesn't hurt so much to fall without bracing yourself.
Of course, when I'm snowboarding and catch an edge, I'm down before I even have a chance to react, let alone put a hand out. For me, crashing after catching an edge while skiing tends to happen less, since there are two edges and a bit more room to correct.