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Hip and Tailbone Pads?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
What pads and protection are some of you boarders -- especially new boarders -- utilizing?

This week I picked up a pair of Dakine wrist protectors (the wide palm felt way more stable than the Pro-Tec wrist guards I tried on) and a Pro-Tec Hip Pad.

The hip pads have me curious. They're essentially loose fitting bike shorts with pads sewen on, and despite their apparent bulk, the thin tail bone pad feels somewhat wimpy. On the other hand, the hip and thigh protection almost seem overkill.

I've also seen a selection of pads for other body parts: elbow pads, knee pads, torso pads, spine pads... holy cripes! It could be like suiting up for some football!

What pads do you find most useful? Which are a complete waste?
post #2 of 18

Pads? We don need no stinkin pads

I used to wear wrist guards, but gave them up as a waste of time. Once you learn how to fall without putting your hands out so that it's automatic, there really is no point. If you wear wrist guards and continue to fall putting your hands out, you will eventually just break your arm instead of spraining your wrist.

I'd recommend wearing (more the merrier) pads to people who were going to spend a lot of time in the park or doing boardercross.

I've seen beginners break their tail bone from falling on their butt after catching the downhill edge on toe side turns. A Tbone protector, even a thin one, may have helped. Knee pads may be useful for beginners on hard snow.

Personally, I carry plenty of built in padding : .
post #3 of 18
I'm a fat Bastard too, plenty of padding built in.

I too used wrist gaurds as a beginner, and own a spine protector for racing (haven't used it yet). I've seen some nice looking shorts with hip and ass pads, but never felt a need to go there.

Then of course, there is the helmet...its a no brainer. only leave it behind if have no brain to protect
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by SirMack
Then of course, there is the helmet...its a no brainer.
Agreed! Started wearing a helmet full time skiing two seasons ago, and I'm still the only one among the friends and family I ski with. No shame there!

The last time I boarded years ago, I slammed myself a couple times and remember having a very sore neck and tailbone from the experience.

My first day back on a board two weekends ago was somewhat less painless. I'm sure the helmet helped out in some regard, and the soft, fresh, plentiful snow kept my backside somewhat cushioned, but I know it's only a matter of time.

I understand what both of you are saying re: the wrist protection, and rest assured I'm not attempting to replace good technique with a "crutch" of sorts -- just want to make sure I don't do any nasty damage while learning the ropes.
post #5 of 18
I use these:

I tried Burton (RED) shorts, but they were not big enough - only went to a large. They seemed pretty good though.

therusty: why discourage wristguards? I got a pair of Level gloves with them built in this year so they are very convenient. No amount of training can save your wrists from 12 feet up, but wrist guards might help (they have saved mine already). Even high rails make for some quick and unexpected falls that no training can prepare you for.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by philsthrills
I use these:

Hmmmm.... interesting. As it is, I wear lycra bike shorts under my ski pants. As I mentioned in the initial post, the Pro-Tec hip pad shorts I bought are a pretty loose fit and I need to keep wearing the lycra underneath. These EVS shorts could kill two birds with one stone.

On the other hand, I'd probably need multiple pairs for multiple days...
post #7 of 18
Originally Posted by speede541
On the other hand, I'd probably need multiple pairs for multiple days...
Yeah, I have two pair - so when I get home, they go directly to the wash machine so I know there is always at least one pair ready. I can honestly say that I only ever had one wreck where they REALLY helped - I was sliding a battleship box and my board did not quite come around right. I came off of the box on the side right onto my hip - square on the pad. You could hear the gasps - it must have looked bad. Nobody could believe that it did not hurt.

I have used them other times, but they have all been minor falls that would have hurt without them but just hurt less with them.
post #8 of 18
Originally Posted by philsthrills
therusty: why discourage wristguards?
The issue is what you do automatically when you fall. Without any training, you will undoubtedly put your hands out. If you rely on wrist guards to protect your wrists when using your hands to break a fall and habitually try to break falls, you are greatly increasing the likelihood that someday you will fall hard enough to break your arm. The impact force just goes to the next weakest location. If you learn to fall by sucking up and taking it instead of trying to break the fall, it will eventually become automatic. Using your whole body to break the fall instead of your arms greatly reduces the chance of serious injury because you spread the force across more body mass. This more than offsets the slight reduction in impact force that happens when using your arms to reduce the distance fallen or act as shock absorbers. No matter what kind of fall you are taking, you can prevent the unconscious use of your hands to break the fall.

I teach riders to make fists, cross their arms and make the oomph sound on contact. The sound effect helps to make the moves automatic. Like gymnasts and paratroopers who learn to tuck and roll when falling, with practice, the move can become ingrained and automatic. Once this is automatic, wrist guards are more hassle than protection.

I do not discourage wrist guards for beginners. Until alternative moves are automatic and the risk of catching a downhill edge has been minimized through skill development, they can help to prevent injury. In my beginner classes, I keep the speeds very slow so that when my students use their hands to break their falls the impact force is not high enough to do damage. I have found that nagging, practice and Rusty's secret sound are sufficient to prevent injury.

Very few of my first time students arrive with wrist guards. Since we swtiched to teaching the 4 board performances, I have not had a single wrist injury in my lessons. I did however, hyperextend my own wrist last season. While skiing. Because my hand got jammed by my pole when falling. I considered going to an integrated glove system this year, but have chosen to avoid skiing fast through wet snowmaking instead.
post #9 of 18
I understand all of that, but in this day in age, we are not just riding, we are going big. You will not find me in the park or pipe w/o wrist guards.
post #10 of 18

Going big is precisely why I said "all of that". Good luck!
post #11 of 18
We need to ride together sometime. I saw Allison F. at an event the other day. Do you ride S-pipe? Maybe once ours opens you would be interested in coming up? We are also having an AASI Level 300 MA clinic here and an Intro to Freestyle event. I am looking to understudy both of them. Let me know if you can make it sometime.
post #12 of 18


I have used the crash pad shorts from Burton (RED) and they have treated me well. I have even worn them while skateboarding and they work on concrete too. I usually suit up with a short from Skeletools because they are more flexible and less restricting (also warmer). When these start to smell and need cleaning I've got the RED shorts to wear. I wear the RED shorts for skating because they're not as hot for summer weather. If I'm going to get on any rail or feature in the park I put the pads (including helmet) on. I'll only freeride, hit kickers or the pipe if I don't have my padded shorts on. I learned the hard way and had to have surgery on my tail bone due to an infection from a hard slam on a rail. Skeletools was cool about hooking me up with a pro form. I also got their padded zip top to use for boardercross or other racing. I think these shorts would be great for anyone, but especially first timers.
post #13 of 18

Wrist Guards

The Winter 2006 Pro Rider mag has a great article on wrist guards. Here are some tidbits.

The official AASI position on wrist guards is that they are neither recommended nor discouraged. This is theRusty's position. TheRusty notes that it appears that the studies cited in the article did not attempt to account for riders trained to fall without putting their hands out. The effectiveness of this advice has not been proven or disproven.

The article discusses "proximal" (damage to the larger bones of the arm or shoulder) injuries, noting theRusty's mentioned "belief" (which he heard in an AASI clinic) as a common concern.

The article cites a 1995 study of FOUR proximal injuries to inline skaters, which were assumed to be caused by stiff wrist guards. A later snowboard study notes that "although there were a few additional proximal injuries, they did not reach a level of statistical significance."

The article cites two sources that state that using wrist guards either reduces or at least does not increase the likelihood of proximal injuries. "At higher impact speeds an in jury to the arm above a guarded wrist will be less significant than the injury to an unguarded wrist."

There is also a biomechnical explanation about how making a fist can reduce the potential for wrist injury (with or without guards).

I'm going to reread this article a few more times and review the design of specific brands of wrist guards. I may be changing my personal policy on this issue.
post #14 of 18
the RED crashpants are OK but compared to DAINESE they are junk. dainese also offers their crashpant with a hard shell tailbone protector.
post #15 of 18

Isn't this a Ski website?

Why would there be so many posts regarding snow board protection here? Isn't that rather an ursurpation of other's cyberspace?
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by ATskier
Why would there be so many posts regarding snow board protection here? Isn't that rather an ursurpation of other's cyberspace?
Speaking of usurpation, why is a skier complaing about a snowboard discussion in a snowboard forum?
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by snowdan
the RED crashpants are OK but compared to DAINESE they are junk. dainese also offers their crashpant with a hard shell tailbone protector.
Well, the Pro-Tec's I bought and wore last Friday are a mixed bag. I had four or five good slams last Friday, and while my hips and bum were in decent shape the following day, my tailbone still aches a week later.

The real answer is I need to learn not to fall directly on it, but an ergonomic hard shell tailbone cap sounds like the way to go on this one.

It appears Pro Tec offered hard-shell protection in their hip pads last season, but currently offer only a soft pad design!?!?
post #18 of 18
Sorry for a slightly off topic question.....

But my wife is going to give snowboarding a try (I tried it once & didn't like it).

Where's the best place to the Salt Lake Valley to buy wrist guards & padded pants?

Does REI or anyplace else rent wrist guards and all the other snowboarder padding?
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