Snowboarding is called the Olympic sport, which consists in descending from the mountains and slopes covered with snow on a snowboard. At first, these competitions were held only in winter, but some extreme sportsmen learned to go down from sandy slopes in the summer (sandboarding).
Very often, athletes ride unprepared tracks at great speed. That is why they use various equipment to protect themselves from injuries - helmets, equipment for arms, legs, joints, back.
In 1998, in Nagano, during the Olympic competitions, snowboarding was first included in the program of the Olympics.
Thoughts on protection
Protection for a snowboarder is very important - this is the first thing that a wise rider gets. Going to the slope for the first time, many forget about knee pads and helmets. They think that such an amazing event will not spoil. After multiple falls, athletes begin to hurt broken parts of the body. As a rule, the first thought about equipment appears precisely at this moment.
Those who are already injured during training, begin to think about protection in advance. They do not look back at skilled friends who ride without a helmet and damage. And rightly so: protection for the snowboarder provides the athlete with the pleasure of riding. Equipped riders do not need to heal bruises.
Protection for a novice snowboarder
I wonder if tailbone protection is important for snowboarders? Buying equipment, many people do not want to spend a lot of money. They don’t know if they will like snowboarding, if they have enough money, spirit and time to continue. Therefore, we decide now with the minimum outfit for beginners, given the safety and maximum pleasure received from skiing.
Trainings of fans are carried out at ultra-low speeds with a huge number of falls from a height of average growth. Riders basically land on the following parts of the body:
- wrists (instinctively, all athletes fall on arms extended forward);
- knees (while learning to ride on the front edge);
- ass (while learning to ride on the back edge).
Therefore, protection for the snowboarder should protect what is most injured.
Knee pads are special knee pads. This equipment, as a rule, consists of a cup made of hard plastic. It is she who takes on the basic striking force. According to the version, the product can be equipped with soft inserts made of foamed raw materials, which are placed at the bottom, top and sides of the knee.
The knee pad is attached in three ways:
- The straps below and above the knee are a budget option. Such a fastening is not considered reliable, it can shift during a side impact and not fulfill its purpose. Suitable for fans of snowboarding, riding at minimum speed.
- Stocking. Here the knee is located in the middle of the fabric pipe, which is equipped with various inserts. This modification is more reliable than the previous one, but it has a very awkward look.
- In a hybrid way. In this case, the stocking is attached with straps to the top and bottom of the knee. This is the most expensive and reliable option.
It should be noted the magnificent modernization of the hard knee pads, which are inclusions of elastic raw materials, placed between the plastic cup and the knee. This can be foam rubber or other raw materials, softening the blow and taking on its power. Some riders use pieces of fluffy polyethylene. After two to three workouts, they split along due to falls. But landing on them is very nice, as they are soft and comfortable.
Knee pads cost from 700 to 2500 rubles and above. Those who are going to try the snowboard for the first time can use equipment for volleyball or for rollers.
Non-core products are popular for their thickness. The most chubby volleyball knee pads cost about 300 rubles - this is not the highest payment for unrefined knees.
Wrist Protection, Shorts
Protection for the snowboarder is necessary to pass the stage of incessant falls. Indeed, if the training is not accompanied by injury, the athlete learns faster and rides with pleasure.
- Protective shorts are called special equipment, equipped with inserts of a variety of materials (hard plastic and elastic synthetics). This equipment protects the lateral surfaces of the hips and tailbone from injury, it is comfortable to sit on a lift, especially if it is wet. Shorts cost from 1600 to 3500 rubles, depending on the raw materials and the number of protective inserts, thickness of protection, manufacturer and design. Of course, more expensive does not mean better. It is known that Russian enterprises create efficient products at an affordable price. Choosing this product, you need to focus on the convenience, thickness, quality of the seams.
- Providing wrist protection consists of one or two plates placed in a case. They are made of plastic or steel and are attached to the hand in the form of a fingerless glove. This protection for snowboarders plays a very important role, as it fixes the hand and prevents its excessive arching. In fact, this equipment prevents dislocations and fractures. The plates are invisible under the glove and very comfortable. Their price is small - from 600 rubles, but it is known that efficiency does not depend on cost.
As a result, protection for beginner snowboarders costs about 3,000 rubles. If you take any things from friends, it’s much cheaper.
Protection for aces
By increasing the speed of snowboarding, athletes increase the risk of injury. Of course, they rarely fall, but critically, there are speed collisions with other snowboarders, and even with skiers. To stay healthy during training, riders stock up on extra equipment.
In protection for snowboarding, professionals prefer a helmet. It is known that at low speed it is almost impossible to fall and hurt the head. At an impressive speed, it can be broken thoroughly. A helmet very often saves from trouble. It is made of hard plastic, which is able to take on all the power of the shock and prevent concussion. Most cases prove its real effectiveness.
Many snowboarders neglect the helmet, and therefore the safety. They say that the product has too much mass, so it is uncomfortable. But when they go to the mountains, they still get it, because they do not want to go to the hospital.
It is known that there are many cheap lightweight helmet models. For example, the Head version has a mass of only 365 grams, while it is very convenient and inexpensive.
Some athletes say they look ugly in a helmet. Today you can find a product that will create an unforgettable style for the rider. You can choose a helmet to match the color of your eyes, hair, suit ... When you are protected, you can turn mountains!
The helmet has another useful property: it insulates the head in windy and frosty weather. Riders often ask the question: "Is it possible to wear a hat under a helmet?" Many people know that because of it, the helmet can shift when it falls.
Of course, wearing a hat under protection can be done without losing security, provided that it sits on you securely and comfortably. The cap also softens the blow when falling, because it is an additional layer. If the helmet put on it moves, you need to purchase a different size or model.
In stores that sell snowboard protection (helmets, clothes), you can find special comforters that look like hats or lightweight balaclava. Sellers often say that helmets can be adjusted in size. This is not bad, but you should not rely on this nuance, because the product should be comfortable and fit snugly to the head.
An audio system can be integrated into the helmet. Its most important destination is the dialogs of riders during skating. They are necessary in order to call for help if necessary and not get lost. Use headphones and a walkie-talkie for this.
Unfortunately, many athletes do not use this feature for their intended purpose, and the player is built into the helmet. Thus, they increase the pleasure gained from skiing, but reduce safety: the snowboarder begins to carelessly about the details of the track, increases the risk of collision and injury.
So how to choose a helmet? When trying on, pay attention to the size and weight of the product (the helmet should fit snugly to the head, but not squeeze it and not disturb the athlete).
Snowboard protection is, in fact, sold at any sports store. And what is a mask? It protects the eyes and part of the face from snow, headwind and minor mechanical damage. Usually it needs professionals riding at tremendous speeds.
Many say that the mask is harmful, because because of it the viewing angle is reduced. It’s wrong to think like that. Firstly, this nuance depends on the model of the product. Secondly, the view is narrowed due to snow and air currents falling into the eyes, and not due to poor equipment.
Under the helmet, the mask is selected so that there is no gap between the products. For example, the Head helmet is perfectly used only with a Scott mask.
It is known that the visor with which the mask is equipped has a large number of characteristics: contrast, color, light transmission, sharpness, viewing angle, and so on.
There are two types of visors:
- Spherical. In it, the reflection spreads out to the circle with the effect of “fish eye”. Spherical masks provide a large viewing angle and are considered the best for vision: they do not distort the image, since they form a sphere around the eye. They are expensive.
- Cylindrical. Here, the reflection resembles the outer surface of the cylinder, since it stretches vertically. This product can be purchased at a low price.
Sellers may recommend mask models equipped with a replaceable visor. In general, it is very difficult to choose a visor for a certain mask model (usually outdated), it’s cheaper to buy a new one. Therefore, it is better to purchase a good product the first time, and not deal with the change of visors.
And what is the protection of the back of a snowboarder? It is used by professionals who ride at high speed. Indeed, on crowded slopes, when performing tricks, you can encounter colleagues and fly a few meters.
The equipment of the back is made in different versions. The simplest, but rather effective, is the placement of several movable plates on the straps and wide waist belt. This is an inexpensive and effective protection. A more expensive specimen is equipped with plates attached to the back with a thin fabric vest. This equipment is also part of the “turtle,” which protects the athlete’s chest and arms from injury.
Previously, this product was made of hard plastic. Today they use lighter raw materials resembling foam. It is very soft, but at the moment of impact it becomes hard. Many riders do not risk using this option, so they ride in plastic.
Before purchasing, it is necessary to try on the back protection, it should sit tight and not move when pressed. In general, any product may seem comfortable, but not fit the figure, so you need to look for a convenient model.
It is impossible to tell all about protection for a snowboard, but we will try to make out the most important points. In order to go down the mountain on a simple soft snowboard, many put on chest protection. At high speed, the slightest mistake, a stone on the track or an incorrect weight distribution can cause a rider to fall. To ride a couple of tens of meters by inertia on your own chest is not a pleasant test.
A small addition made in the form of a “turtle” or a protective vest helps the athlete feel safe and confident at any speed and not be afraid of injuries.
Technology and manufacturers
Protection for snowboarding is made using various technologies. For example, comfortable and soft knee pads become hard at the moment of impact. Technology comes from different areas, a lot has been borrowed from motorcyclists.
By purchasing the product, you can specify the brand of the manufacturer: Rossignol, Uvex, Red, Burton. Well-known companies always have expensive products.
In general, everyone is interested to see how any technology works to protect the snowboarder, everyone chooses his own option. Someone prefers brands, someone the price. Some do not like Dainese products: they say that this company makes heavy helmets and frivolous knee pads. But this company is a leader in the protection market, primarily motorcycle. In general, they usually pay attention to how the equipment is made and whether it sits comfortably. It must be remembered that the availability of equipment is much better than its absence.
The choice of protection for snowboarding is of utmost importance. Many athletes praise Dakine products, some praise Pro-Tec. Those who praise Dakine claim that the wrist protector of this company is equipped with a hard insert that prevents injury to the hand when dropped. They say that the main thing is to take this product in size so that it does not squeeze the hand and does not hang on it.
Of course, they also praise Pro-Tec, but claim that the protection of this manufacturer is more cumbersome, since, for example, the wrist protection has an additional insert on the outside. Those who like Pro-Tec prefer to have two soft wrist inserts as opposed to one Dakine hard insert.
We hope this article will help you determine the choice of protection for snowboarding.