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How much protection (armor) do you use?

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
Whether you are a racer, huckster, ripper or just a cruiser, how much protection do you wear?



As of last season, I wear a full face helmet, back protection, and knee supports. (This is at all times I ski)

For racing I up it a bit with padded under shorts, armored gloves, and as of this coming season the standard SL guards for SL courses which I plan to get more involved in.

Two days ago I ordered one of these: www.brainpads.com.

I plan on buying some forearm guards for racing later this year (children's Adidas shin gaurds fit as if they were made for forearms).

I am also seriously considering wearing a leatt-brace neck protector. http://www.leatt-brace.com/




It might all seem like overkill, but after suffering such serious injuries this past season I realize now how easily I could maim myself at the speeds that I like to ski. Injuries to the neck and brain generally happen once and then its over Charlie. I might look like Robocop or just an idiot poseur or gaper wearing enough armor to send me to battle in, but better that than be the fool who went too fast and broke his neck.
post #2 of 47
I just plan on skiing slower, but that really wasn't even the issue when I hit. I only plan on wearing a helmet, but maybe I should add some kind of forearm guard. What I need to protect, tho, is my wrists and I don't know how to do that without comprising my pole plant. As it is, I already have pretty limited mobility in the left one.

Your line up looks like maybe you should just hit an Ebay auction for a full set of armor like "knights in...".

The correct URL, by the way is http://www.brainpads.com/
post #3 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post
I just plan on skiing slower, but that really wasn't even the issue when I hit. I only plan on wearing a helmet, but maybe I should add some kind of forearm guard. What I need to protect, tho, is my wrists and I don't know how to do that without comprising my pole plant. As it is, I already have pretty limited mobility in the left one.

Your line up looks like maybe you should just hit an Ebay auction for a full set of armor like "knights in...".

The correct URL, by the way is http://www.brainpads.com/
I think Leki or Reusch has some new gloves that have thumb/wrist protection this season.

Corrected, thanks
post #4 of 47
I don't race, but I'm fairly aggressive freeskier (I like rocks and the possibilities they provide ), so i've always had an interest in armor.

A helmet is a no brainer. Get one that fits, where it everyday. Period.

As for body armor...it's a trade between how much protection you want, vs. how hot & sweaty you're willing to get, vs. the comfort level of the armor when you wear it (i.e. does it restrict your movement at all?)

So my first foray into body armor for skiing was a Dainese mesh jacket (can't remember the exact name. It was a mesh jacket worn under your normal shell that a hard turtle shell spine protector, and hard shell plastic on the shoulders forearms and little bit on the ribcage. It was very protective, didn't restrict movement, but it was hot as hell. i couldn't stand wearing that thing everyday and resorted to just using it at big mountain competitions.

however, it did want some everyday protection, so I eventually bought a mesh vest that just had a turtle shell spine protector in it (made by Head). It's nice. With nothing but a turtle shell, you won't overheat, you get some spine protection, but the con is that there's no protection anywhere else.

So now, I wear Aegix Apparel protective jackets and pants and i've found it offers the best blend of comfort, breathability, and protection. Disclaimer: I am affiliated with Aegix so I might be a bit biased, but I wouldn't use it if I didn't believe in it. What Aegix has done is incorporate armor into it's jacket and pants. The A1 jacket i wore last year has an inner (removable via zips) liner that contains armor for your tailbone, forearms, triceps, shoulders, and ribcage. As it's integrated with the jacket, it moves in conjunction with it, so it's very non-restrictive to wear considering all the armor that's in it. You will heat up a bit in it, but the jacket material is waterproof/breathable with vents so there is someplace for the steam to escape to.

the one drawback about last year's Aegix A1 jacket is that there was no hard shell spine protection, but that is changing for this year. Their top of the lin "Hux" line will feature all the padding/armor as last year's A1 jacket, plus a removable hard shell spine protector. It's pretty pimp.

Last year's website is www.aegixgear.com and you can get a pretty good idea of where they're coming from. I'm told the new website will launch soon with all their new lines (there's a bunch of them...men's, women's, and kid's) so keep checking it.

My one peeve against them is that I really wish they had some brighter colors...but I'm still chirping in their ear about that so who knows.
post #5 of 47
I always wear a carbon fiber/Kevlar codpiece. And a helmet. If it's really crowded, I'll throw on the spiked gauntlets.
post #6 of 47
Other than protection from the cold, the only protective gear I have worn skiing (if you don't count boots) is goggles. I think I'll pick up a helmet this year though.
post #7 of 47
I just wear padded shorts and a full cut helmet. Not a full face, but one that has the hard shell over the ears as well, if that makes sense.

I have a back protector, and have tried mnt bike style full armored tops, but found that neither offered enough protection to really be worth it, considering that they were really uncomfortable, didn't work well with a pack, and were sweaty. I'm not sure a back protector really does anything to stabilize your back at all, I think it would just help with direct impact of a rock to it, and what are the chances of that happening?

I have also tried a full face, but I found that the facegaurd did a lot to tourque my neck around in a cartwheel ride. I decided the risk of that was not worth the benifit of having my face protected.

The padded shorts, however, provide a lot of protection while still being comfortable. It seems like almost every time I fall, I land on them in one way or another.

Full cut helmets also seem to offer a lot more protection than the half cuts.
post #8 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGGOT View Post
I just wear padded shorts and a full cut helmet. Not a full face, but one that has the hard shell over the ears as well, if that makes sense.

I have a back protector, and have tried mnt bike style full armored tops, but found that neither offered enough protection to really be worth it, considering that they were really uncomfortable, didn't work well with a pack, and were sweaty. I'm not sure a back protector really does anything to stabilize your back at all, I think it would just help with direct impact of a rock to it, and what are the chances of that happening?

I have also tried a full face, but I found that the facegaurd did a lot to tourque my neck around in a cartwheel ride. I decided the risk of that was not worth the benifit of having my face protected.

The padded shorts, however, provide a lot of protection while still being comfortable. It seems like almost every time I fall, I land on them in one way or another.

Full cut helmets also seem to offer a lot more protection than the half cuts.
I agree on the questionable efficacy of the currently available back armor. What is really needed is something that prevents compression not blunt blows. The one I wear is by Head and has a waist wrap that adds some core support so it also helps keep your internal pressure up a bit higher thereby offering your back a little bit of support. I did land on my back on ice before I had the back protection and there was a rock man did that hurt, so I figured might as well get the back guards.

As far as the full face helmet, being that all motocross riders use them and I can’t recall hearing any snapping their neck due to the helmet, I think its a calculated risk worth taking. The Leatt-brace is designed to all but eliminate the full-face helmet risks.

All my gear is very comfortable and does not restrict my movement, nor do I feel too hot, especially when in a speed suit. My regular ski pants, jacket and gloves have vents. When I break for lunch though I am sopping wet, but that’s always the case even pre-armor, by the time I am done eating I am dry again.

I bought the SixSixOne body armor and returned it. It had protection where I did not need it, I could barely get my arms even into the largest size, and it restricted my movement.

Tyrone, thats a cool website, the concept behind the gear is good, I agree though a little more color would be nice for that stuff.
post #9 of 47
I don't know about poser but certainly a sucker for " more stuff "

WTF are you guys doing ... I ski MRG, I wear a helmet and goggles, good pair of gloves and other than that I pray and hope for the best. I've been skiing every season for 41 years and have managed to get by with a few fractures and an ACL rebuild. None of that armor would have prevented any of those injuries.
That " armor " sales guy really saw you coming. Do you wear a full flotation suit when you go to the beach. I'll bet you wear a life jacket when you go ice skating even when it's on an indoor ice rink ... !

Yea, if your racing, sure you need that protection, if you're running downhill or something like that and certainly if your getting major air off cliffs out west, but what in the world are you doing with all that gear when you spend most of your time at Killington and Hunter MT? But come to think of it , the only two times that I've ever been run into by a skier was at killington and one time the one guy was wearing a body armor ... !!

Maybe dial it back a notch or two and do us all a favor.
post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by madriverskier View Post
I don't know about poser but certainly a sucker for " more stuff "

WTF are you guys doing ... I ski MRG, I wear a helmet and goggles, good pair of gloves and other than that I pray and hope for the best. I've been skiing every season for 41 years and have managed to get by with a few fractures and an ACL rebuild. None of that armor would have prevented any of those injuries.
That " armor " sales guy really saw you coming. Do you wear a full flotation suit when you go to the beach. I'll bet you wear a life jacket when you go ice skating even when it's on an indoor ice rink ... !

Yea, if your racing, sure you need that protection, if you're running downhill or something like that and certainly if your getting major air off cliffs out west, but what in the world are you doing with all that gear when you spend most of your time at Killington and Hunter MT? But come to think of it , the only two times that I've ever been run into by a skier was at killington and one time the one guy was wearing a body armor ... !!

Maybe dial it back a notch or two and do us all a favor.
richie rich I dont know what he is doing, but TS is skiing some gnarly stuff where falls could kill you.

I wear a helmet all the time sometime a fullface, considering armor this year.
post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by madriverskier View Post
WTF are you guys doing ... Yea, if your racing, sure you need that protection, if you're running downhill or something like that and certainly if your getting major air off cliffs out west, but what in the world are you doing with all that gear when you spend most of your time at Killington and Hunter MT? But come to think of it , the only two times that I've ever been run into by a skier was at killington and one time the one guy was wearing a body armor ... !!

Maybe dial it back a notch or two and do us all a favor.
Who said anything about spending any time at Killington or Hunter? I'll venture I never ski either of those (or MRG) again. Ever.

I have not worn body armor before, but I need to now. After spending over $20,000 to have my shoulder rebuilt from a crash, it's time to protect it. So I'm in the market for good, non-restrictive shoulder protection.
post #12 of 47
Thread Starter 
Tyrone is the man when it comes to the gnarly stuff, I learned that from the get-go, but even when not racing I cant/dont want to go slow and am always looking for the opportunity to let'er rip. (No, I dont blast by novices and small children, and I have never, knock on wood, hit anyone.)

I stay on the advanced trails, that are usually sparsly populated. That being said it was not during a race, nor while jumping off a Tyrone-style cliff that I busted myself up, it was at little ol'Hunter doing about 50mph on some rollers.

You can get hurt anywhere just depends how hard you try. No one "sold" me the armor, I searched and searched and have slowly but surely accumulated stuff to protect myself as well as I can. If they didnt cost so much I would be wearing those Aesterick knee protectors that are designed to prevent tears.

While I have friends that have had serious skiing injuries most have not, and some of my parents friends have been skiing long before I was born, but it is few of them that ski the way I do.

Harry, $20k in damages and getting into a spill that renders me with a face that only a mother could love is exactly what I am trying to avoid.
post #13 of 47
I recall Tyrone was pretty banged up when he tried sliding Patrolman's Chute at Kirkwood on his butt and kidneys. No fun to bounce off rocks, and your risk may vary with where you go. I wonder how much more willing armor makes you to try terrain with consequences. If you are going to be there anyway, wear it. I certainly use it on the motorcycle, and think it might be a psychological edge in skiing as well as protective in a fall.
post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGGOT View Post
Full cut helmets also seem to offer a lot more protection than the half cuts.
Has anyone been having problems getting one of these? I was just at the big fall sale for the large ski store in Kalispell and there was ONE of these. Not one style, ONE. And I walked in the door as the store opened. Fortunately, the one full helmet fit me, so I picked up a Giro Streif for $50. I asked them about having any others as this one is a bit on the garish side, but they told me they don't normally carry full cut helmets anymore! This was some kind of leftover given to them by the rep.
post #15 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post
Has anyone been having problems getting one of these? I was just at the big fall sale for the large ski store in Kalispell and there was ONE of these. Not one style, ONE. And I walked in the door as the store opened. Fortunately, the one full helmet fit me, so I picked up a Giro Streif for $50. I asked them about having any others as this one is a bit on the garish side, but they told me they don't normally carry full cut helmets anymore! This was some kind of leftover given to them by the rep.

I see less and less of them, but I think most helmet makers still have at least one in their lineup. The racing helmets, open of full face, are always full coverage, if you get a slalom model it will even have vents (speed event helmets usually dont).
post #16 of 47
CR makes a nice point that those of us who ride motorcyles often wear serious body armor and it does becomes second nature. When I saw guys wearing a helmet, shorts, T, and flip flops, I always wondered how they'd react to skin grafts and joint replacement. Yes, a psychological edge. Lets you focus a bit more on the move instead of the road rushing by your foot.

It's harder to picture for skiing if you don't race. Not the bulk, cuz current setups are fairly compact, and you get used to the feel. But helmets are hot enough; I can only imagine what full armor feels like. On a bike, even 85 degrees can be comfortable if you're traveling 60 mph. But full leathers and armor at a stoplight is another story, even when it's mild. I'm told the nylon suits are better. But if I were wearing armor on the slopes, I'd either want to be flying, or in the middle of a serious cold front.
post #17 of 47
Maybe if enough folks opt for the full-face helmet, I'll be able to wear my Shoei on the slopes without feeling too embarrassed.
post #18 of 47
Far as full helmets, still plenty of them in shops that handle racing, either bricks and mortar or e. Not very common anymore at big chains, so less likely to get good deals. But a while back, at least, you could get a POC X at Ski Depot for $139. Or try eBay.
post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
I recall Tyrone was pretty banged up when he tried sliding Patrolman's Chute at Kirkwood on his butt and kidneys. No fun to bounce off rocks, and your risk may vary with where you go. I wonder how much more willing armor makes you to try terrain with consequences. If you are going to be there anyway, wear it. I certainly use it on the motorcycle, and think it might be a psychological edge in skiing as well as protective in a fall.
"If you are going to be there anyway, wear it". -> good advice.

Yeah Patrolman's a year and a half ago. it's normally a straightline when filled in, but I thought i saw a billygoat line through it. Lost my edge on the first move and slid through the entire thing and knicked a couple rocks with my lower back and arm on the way down: result - 6 stitches in forearm, bruised kidney, muscle contusion and lots of soreness for a few days. Was wearing a helmet at the time, but nothing else.....so in this instance, it wasn't a case of armor making me attempt consequential terrain. It sure would have been nice to have it in this case however. If I was wearing Aegix at the time, there's no way I would have had the stitches in my arm, but I'm still not certain about the contusion...probably still woulda had that just due to the location of it.

Patrolman's that day from the bottom:



oh and regarding full face helmets -- some people love them, some people hate them. For me, I'm still deciding. I had one for a little while, then ditched it simply because it caused way more goggle fogging issues than I'd like and I figured it was more dangerous not being able to see. But I have seen people put their knee to their chin or teeth and a full-face would have helped them. But again, it's still possible to really get hurt while still wearing one......For example, last season Kirkwood Freeride Team member and a pre-qualified IFSA World Tour athlete, Jon Mullens was competing in the Snowbird US Nationals big mountain comp. He went for a massive air the bottom, missed his transition by a bit and landed in a flatter area than he originally intended. The compression on the landing caused his knee to come up underneath his fullface square to his chin (he was also wearing a mouthguard at the time) and he ended up fracturing his chin and cheekbone. It was pretty gnarly.

and speaking of a mouthpiece....if you're taking large airs, get a mouthpiece. They're very cheap. And you can keep it in your pocket so it's not like you have to wear it all day. But it will save you $$$ in potential dental bills on a bad landing or keep you from biting through your tongue if you take a hard hit with your mouth open.

Who knew skiing could be such a full contact sport at times?
post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post
As far as the full face helmet, being that all motocross riders use them and I can’t recall hearing any snapping their neck due to the helmet, I think its a calculated risk worth taking. The Leatt-brace is designed to all but eliminate the full-face helmet risks.
I have not heard about any studies done, but have heard the problem with full face is the chin guard can dig into the snow, and tweak your neck. That's not really a problem with street or motocross.
post #21 of 47
jesus christ! maybe I should give up skiing as its so gnarly by the sounds of it! :

Ive skied for 31 years (Im 33) and have never even worn a helmet. Im also a mountaineer so perhaps I respect them there hills just that bit more? I reckon the best philosophy is to ski within your limits..

just look at the photo of that couloir higher up the thread, I rest my case...

in my experience the most dangerous people on the piste are the clowns wearing the body armour
post #22 of 47
Agreed with CR and beyond. I wear protection on a motorbike, not on skis (but for a helmet sometimes). I'm afraid Tyrone and I are not actualy involved in the same sport. I'm saying this with the utmost respect.

re Aegix: My experience with moto clothes is that integrated paddings and spine protectors require tight fitting jackets, that would impair the mobility required when skiing (thus the use of separate safety items in motoX for instance). In a loose jacket the paddings move around and became probably useless.
How did Aegix adress the issue ?
post #23 of 47
I quit wearing knee pads when I switched to plastic boots many years ago, but plan to start again on the advice of some excellent telemarkers who swear by them.

Helmet, gloves (even when it's very warm), sunglasses (plastic lens) or goggles, sunscreen.
post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottish Rockhopper View Post
jesus christ! maybe I should give up skiing as its so gnarly by the sounds of it! :

Ive skied for 31 years (Im 33) and have never even worn a helmet. Im also a mountaineer so perhaps I respect them there hills just that bit more? I reckon the best philosophy is to ski within your limits..
I USED to feel like you.
Now I don't.
post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottish Rockhopper View Post
? I reckon the best philosophy is to ski within your limits..
Rockhopper -- Do you see the irony in your screen name?

I agree with your statement above. And for the line I posted above, I'll admit that it was a step over my limits at the time. I studied it for a quite awhile and still thought that the risks were manageable, so I gave it a go. But fell when after negotiating over the first rock ledge, my ski tips jammed into the opposing wall causing me to lose pressure on my tails and they washed out flushing me out the bottom. I knew what the risks were at the top and I was comfortable with them. If you ask my friends, I'm a very cautious skier....I usually overanalyze anything I'm going to ski sometimes to the point of paralysis (paralysis by overanalysis) and I back off and walk away from MANY lines that don't feel right to me even if it looks perfecfly fine and other people are hitting it. On this particular day, I was studying the line for about a 2 weeks as it filled in....watching what rock ledges got covered up, and envisioning the moves to get down it.

Despite the steepness, it's a really simple line. it's just a series of sidestep hops to get over the ledges. (Really only two...hop off the first ledge, land and stick, nudge down to the next ledge, land and stick, then a short straightline through the narrow crux). The individual moves, or hops to get over the ledges, I've done a million times every day to get over stuff in less consequential areas. The difference here is that these rock ledges were stacked one on top of another, rather than isolated as they might be in a more routine area. I was pretty comfortable with my thinking that I had the moves down needed to get over the rock ledges pretty much ingrained in my muscle memory through repitition in less exposed areas, and now it was just a matter of executing what i've done over and over in the past, but in sequence. Unfortunately, I made the mistake that I described above and wasn't successful. I've taken that mistake and learned from it.


Back to the armor subject -- PhillippeR asked about the fit of the Aegix armor and if it felt loose by nature of it's integration into the jacket. I see your concern PhillippeR, and what Aegix has done to address the issue is that the armor is not in the jacket material itself, but in a separate removable "inner" jacket that hugs your body more closely than the outer shell. So when you move, the armor stays in place, and the outer jacket shell moves freely. It's almost like two jackets in one...the outer shell (which can be worn w/o the armor on spring days) and the inner armored shell.
post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottish Rockhopper View Post
jesus christ! maybe I should give up skiing as its so gnarly by the sounds of it! :

Ive skied for 31 years (Im 33) and have never even worn a helmet. Im also a mountaineer so perhaps I respect them there hills just that bit more? I reckon the best philosophy is to ski within your limits..

just look at the photo of that couloir higher up the thread, I rest my case...

in my experience the most dangerous people on the piste are the clowns wearing the body armour
Lose the attitude.

You can go without a helmet or body armor. If skiing around with the clowns on the piste is what you do, then maybe you don't need a helmet or pads.

If skiing couloirs is outside of your limits, don't ski them. But don't try to tell others that they should ski within your limits.
post #27 of 47
Normal skiing: Helmet.

GS - Add:
- Gloves with padding and kevlar over the knuckles
- Stealth top or alternate upper-body padding

SL - Add:
- Jawguard
- Handguards
- Shinguards

... just to give a blandly specific answer to the original question.
post #28 of 47
Harry_Morgan, I have no attitude but perhaps I have a different outlook from the macho bravado I have frequently witnessed in the US.

People take greater risks and push their ability to the limit when skiing with helmets, end of story. Noone is immortal, Ive been avalanched, taken big falls (while ice climbing), been stormbound and benighted in the hills so I am fully aware of the risks, ive also skied some pretty gnarly couloirs in the alps. I still think the greatest risk in skiing comes from being on the piste with some helmetclad clown thinking he is the herminator, losing it and smacking into someone helmet first.


Tyrone, LOL. if you ever ski in scotland youll see what my name is all about, maybe I should rename myself scottish heatherhopper. By the sounds of it the couloir looks bigger than it really is, hard to get a sense of scale
post #29 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottish Rockhopper View Post
Harry_Morgan, I have no attitude but perhaps I have a different outlook from the macho bravado I have frequently witnessed in the US.

People take greater risks and push their ability to the limit when skiing with helmets, end of story. Noone is immortal, Ive been avalanched, taken big falls (while ice climbing), been stormbound and benighted in the hills so I am fully aware of the risks, ive also skied some pretty gnarly couloirs in the alps. I still think the greatest risk in skiing comes from being on the piste with some helmetclad clown thinking he is the herminator, losing it and smacking into someone helmet first.


Tyrone, LOL. if you ever ski in scotland youll see what my name is all about, maybe I should rename myself scottish heatherhopper. By the sounds of it the couloir looks bigger than it really is, hard to get a sense of scale
Actually if you think about it, smacking into someone helmet first would be advantageous to both parties involved since the impact absorption would not be exclusive to the one wearing the helmet.
post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottish Rockhopper View Post
Harry_Morgan, I have no attitude but perhaps I have a different outlook from the macho bravado I have frequently witnessed in the US.

People take greater risks and push their ability to the limit when skiing with helmets, end of story. Noone is immortal, Ive been avalanched, taken big falls (while ice climbing), been stormbound and benighted in the hills so I am fully aware of the risks, ive also skied some pretty gnarly couloirs in the alps. I still think the greatest risk in skiing comes from being on the piste with some helmetclad clown thinking he is the herminator, losing it and smacking into someone helmet first.
I'm glad you are so 'experienced'. That doesn't excuse you to imply "macho bravado" in skiers you have never met, or post deregatorily about others decision's to wear helmets or body armour.

Glad to know someone has definatively studied risk-taking and helmet usage, though.
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