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Race Armor for GS and SL

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
For some reason, I have it in my head that Bode and others are using rigid armor on his arms in SL and GS (and maybe the other disciplines??) for gate clearing...am I on crack here?

I am seriously considering some form of hard armor for myself this year, because honestly, I can't handle the repeated gate impacts on the exact same spot of my arms...it's providing too much of a distraction, and I need mental clarity to be able to ski at my best...

I know that Dainese makes a couple of slalom jackets...but they look pretty beefy to me, and I don't want any major restriction in movement range...

What other alternatives (excluding standard foam padded stealths) are out there?
post #2 of 27
Chain mail? Seriously, this has been bothering me for quite a while too since slalom season is approaching and I can just feel my arms swelling up before having hit any gate and Dainese seems to be the only ones offering hard protection... Race place has this http://www.ski-racing.com/dnsejacket.html wich seems to be less bulky than their top of the line offering, but still... it's hella pricey and doesn't look to be any better than a standard stealth.

My father after looking at the bruises on my arms when I came back from a particularly hefty bout of gate bashing just said: "Why can't they invent forearm pads?" And he's pretty right at that... Something that would be streamlined and made with the same plastic that is used in shin pads would probably sell well... if it doesn't already exist.

We'd be looking like knights tough... or pro baseball players
post #3 of 27
look at a sporting goods shop in the football area- they make soft forearm guards for offensive linemen that will do the trick.
post #4 of 27
I'm pretty sure Gabel made a rigid, shin pad-like forearm protector a few years back. It doesn't seem to be on their site for this year's line.
post #5 of 27
I've definitely seen Bode and others using something like what D(C) describes for GS. Looks like its attached at the wrist, and sticks out from the forearm a little. Couldn't say who makes them or where to get them though.
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanuckInstructor
I've definitely seen Bode and others using something like what D(C) describes for GS. Looks like its attached at the wrist, and sticks out from the forearm a little. Couldn't say who makes them or where to get them though.
They're homemade. You can do the same with duct tape and some cut up milk jugs.

-T
post #7 of 27

arm pads

arm pads were all the rage for dry slope racing in the uk 10-15 years ago. I believe invicta still make them, and I know spyder did a range for a while. In fact i might have a brand new set in the bag somewhere.

Cost you more for me to post to the US than they are worth though! ie £17 - £20 delivery for something I would let you have for £5.
post #8 of 27
There are a few companies that make forearm armor (www.schneiderracingusa.com) used for slalom. Also there are some serious offerings from Dainese, POC, and Komperdell. Problem is in GS they key spot for impact is your upper back and its tough to place armor there and still be comfortable. I would suggest some stealth top for under your suit and perhaps a trainer over the suit like the Apogee race hoody that offers more padding.
post #9 of 27
I wanted something for Slalom mainly and did not want to spend a fortune like the high end flack jackets cost. I ended up trying some soccer shin guards with the first version needing taped. Then I went and purchased new guards that had velcro straps to put on. I put them under the speed suit.
post #10 of 27
post #11 of 27
Artech sells some forearm guards that are made by a company called Six Six One, and are apparently originally intended for mountain biking.

https://www.artechski.com/Merchant2/...egory_Code=080

I haven't actually seen these things in real life. They look pretty hearty.

As for Bode, I think he's been using a sort of homemade extended gauntlet on his gloves for GS. I don't know about slalom. The WC guys clear virtually every gate with their outside hand and take them all on the handguard/pole, so I don't think they hit gates with their forearms as much as ordinary mortals do.
post #12 of 27
Just beware the football pads are not flexible, they are warm though. If you want a more flexible and plastic shell approach you could look at the full arm lacrosse arm guards, might be a little more pricey though (40-70).
post #13 of 27
Bode, Daron and Eric (Schlopy) all have these plastic segments (about six to eight inches long that they tape to the back side of their gloves/mittens and on the side of their forearm. They only use them in GS. Saw that in person last Saturday at Beaver Creek at the GS. In GS, they do clear the gate with their inside hand, if they have to. Well, Schlopy tried to clear with his hand itself. Result, broken hand: , so I guess the protection doesn't always work. They outside hand block in slalom, so they don't use the plastic shields. They are made from older plastic protection gear and kind of gerry rigged the set-up. Schnieder (mentioned earlier) is marketing a form of this set-up. Check it out on their site.
post #14 of 27
Thanks for all the info: I knew there was a market for forearm protection. That six six one forearm protector seems pretty nice but their hard plastic armor is at 150$ wich seems like a good deal... Anybody has any experience with it? It even has back protection.
post #15 of 27
I find this amazing, they don't make sweaters intended for racers anymore? Back in the day almost everyone on my team had spyder sweaters that were intended for running gates. They had pads built in to the sleeve with hard plastic on top of them. We would train 8 hours per day 3 days straight every weekend and I don't think I was ever bruised at the end of the weekend. Sounds fishy to me!
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs
I find this amazing, they don't make sweaters intended for racers anymore? Back in the day almost everyone on my team had spyder sweaters that were intended for running gates. They had pads built in to the sleeve with hard plastic on top of them. We would train 8 hours per day 3 days straight every weekend and I don't think I was ever bruised at the end of the weekend. Sounds fishy to me!
They now have stealth tops, which are the same idea but spandex rather than wool. They have built in soft pads.
post #17 of 27
SL technique has changes since the Spyder/Silvy/Steffner sweater days. You no longer brush the gate away with your arms but take the gate across your boot tops, shins or body. Thats why we use plastic armor these days. I cannot remember the last time I hit a gate with my forearm but the area right behind the wrist is an issue sometimes!

Stealth is worn under your race suit and works well - most GS suits today are padded some more than others- Apogee, Spyder, Descente us fairly thin pads where POC, VIST and Halti use heavier pads.

I will never get rid of my old Silvy Sweater though!
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by vail99
SL technique has changes since the Spyder/Silvy/Steffner sweater days. You no longer brush the gate away with your arms but take the gate across your boot tops, shins or body. Thats why we use plastic armor these days. I cannot remember the last time I hit a gate with my forearm but the area right behind the wrist is an issue sometimes!

Stealth is worn under your race suit and works well - most GS suits today are padded some more than others- Apogee, Spyder, Descente us fairly thin pads where POC, VIST and Halti use heavier pads.

I will never get rid of my old Silvy Sweater though!
Interesting to know. I'm so out of it.. I'm gonna feel like such a newbie when I start hitting the slopes again...
post #19 of 27
I'm not a racer and have no idea if these are too much padding.

http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=84552444249 2365&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302693161&bmUID= 1134446673138

I wear these under my jacket for hard off piste runs. Saved me some injury on a few occasions.
post #20 of 27
Quote:
I'm not a racer and have no idea if these are too much padding.

http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=84552444249 2365&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302693161&bmUID= 1134446673138

I wear these under my jacket for hard off piste runs. Saved me some injury on a few occasions.
These sure look padded, not sure if they would work well under the suit, but in training (when you can afford to wear them on the outside) they probably would be a lot comfier than just a stealth top.
post #21 of 27
As mentioned in a couple of posts above, the current "best practice" slalom technique puts the body way inside the gate, with the gate cleared by the outside hand, rather than the inside. If you do this every gate (and have hand protectors on your pole), the gate can't hit anything other than your pole or the handguard. Thus the death of padded sweaters.

If you watch WC racers, they execute this perfectly: they scarcely move the outside hand. The same (or something reasonably close) is true of the best J1s or J2s and even some masters racers. But when you start getting into "normal" people, if you insist on an outside (or "cross") block, you'll see a lot of people doing The Twist, or at least some sort of Macarena-esque hand jive. If, on the other hand, an ordinary racer clears each gate with the hand that's most natural, he or she will wind up taking at least some of them on the inside forearm.

In GS, you can't knock the gate flat: if you touch it, you need to skooch your body around the pole. If you complete your turn early and aren't really close to the gate, it should brush or hit obliquely on the back side of the shoulder. If you're running straighter at the gates and you are really close (as the WC guys do and are), you wind up with the gate making contact up around the inside hand, and running along the inside arm. Thus the WC guys' plastic glove gauntlets.

The two groups (ordinary and top-level racers) have different needs. WC racers need: for GS, a slick, smallish gauntlet up around wrist, to take oblique hits as they brush by GS gates and, for SL, nothing on the forearm. Ordinary racers need: for GS, nothing on the forearm and, for SL, a pretty sturdy pad to take solid hits all along the forearm.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
As mentioned in a couple of posts above, the current "best practice" slalom technique puts the body way inside the gate, with the gate cleared by the outside hand, rather than the inside. If you do this every gate (and have hand protectors on your pole), the gate can't hit anything other than your pole or the handguard. Thus the death of padded sweaters.

If you watch WC racers, they execute this perfectly: they scarcely move the outside hand. The same (or something reasonably close) is true of the best J1s or J2s and even some masters racers. But when you start getting into "normal" people, if you insist on an outside (or "cross") block, you'll see a lot of people doing The Twist, or at least some sort of Macarena-esque hand jive. If, on the other hand, an ordinary racer clears each gate with the hand that's most natural, he or she will wind up taking at least some of them on the inside forearm.

In GS, you can't knock the gate flat: if you touch it, you need to skooch your body around the pole. If you complete your turn early and aren't really close to the gate, it should brush or hit obliquely on the back side of the shoulder. If you're running straighter at the gates and you are really close (as the WC guys do and are), you wind up with the gate making contact up around the inside hand, and running along the inside arm. Thus the WC guys' plastic glove gauntlets.

The two groups (ordinary and top-level racers) have different needs. WC racers need: for GS, a slick, smallish gauntlet up around wrist, to take oblique hits as they brush by GS gates and, for SL, nothing on the forearm. Ordinary racers need: for GS, nothing on the forearm and, for SL, a pretty sturdy pad to take solid hits all along the forearm.
Very good points: the WC guys could, and some of them still do (Pallander), get away with only shinpads and minimal pole shields. No face guards, even no helmets, probably even no hard armor, but this is hard to tell under the skin suit. The problem with mere mortals is that the cross-block needs your body to be really, but I mean really on the inside of that gate in order to keep upper-body rotation to a minimum: this means a high, very tight line, something that is hard, if not impossible, for some to accomplish on the steeps or on very rutted courses. This leaves you with two options:
a) back off and reestablish your line for the next gate: loss of precious time and speed.
b) go all 1986 on that gate's butt and do a Girardelli: inside clear.

I don't do it often (armor is more of a problem in gs for me), but when I do, I like some cushion. Sometimes you don't have the choice.
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffr
b) go all 1986 on that gate's butt and do a Girardelli: inside clear.
Or better yet, chicken-wing those suckers.
post #24 of 27
[quote=jeffr]Very good points: the WC guys could, and some of them still do (Pallander), get away with only shinpads and minimal pole shields. No face guards, even no helmets, probably even no hard armor, but this is hard to tell under the skin suit. QUOTE]

The face guard is nice to have in flush drills. I've had a fat lip more than once from the impossible flush and the figure course.

I don't really see hard armour (other than shins) being necessary. Occassionally you end up with some bumps on the wrists and forearms but the girls like that, right?

Other common high impact areas in slalom are the thighs but a GS suit will help. Also, on steeper courses with lots of offset, the gates can snaps back and sting you in the ass. Nothing to be done about that one except go faster.

Black and blue are pretty colours.
post #25 of 27
Quote:
The face guard is nice to have in flush drills. I've had a fat lip more than once from the impossible flush and the figure course.

I don't really see hard armour (other than shins) being necessary. Occassionally you end up with some bumps on the wrists and forearms but the girls like that, right?

Other common high impact areas in slalom are the thighs but a GS suit will help. Also, on steeper courses with lots of offset, the gates can snaps back and sting you in the ass. Nothing to be done about that one except go faster.

Black and blue are pretty colours.
Maybe I can get an ass guard? Is there hard armor for this too?
post #26 of 27
At the WC level, it seems many of the men aren't wearing face guards lately, while the women typically do. Make of that what you will.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjohnston
At the WC level, it seems many of the men aren't wearing face guards lately, while the women typically do. Make of that what you will.
I think it's a macho thing. There's no reason not to... But at the same time, some people never get a gate in the face.
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