Protection in the park

It’s easy to get discouraged when you crash and hurt yourself in the park. It could be from a lack of experience, plain bad luck or just a tiny mistake and you end up injuring yourself.

Everyone hurts themselves at some point, it’s one of the risks that comes with the territory. I can’t speak for everyone, but I don’t care at all if I am crashing all day and don’t hurt myself. At least I know that I am learning and pushing myself.

What is the worst is if you hurt yourself and can’t ride anymore. It always seems to happen on those perfect bluebird days where you want to stay out until last lift.

Here is a rundown of protection gear that can help take injuries for you, and keeps you riding.

1. Helmets

sandbox helmet

A pretty obvious one, the majority of people I see out on the hill wear one. They aren’t seen as uncool as they used to be, and can actually look good. Really, your head is pretty valuable and you don’t really want to be hitting it against a steel rail.

Price: From $50 (on special) to $100 Shop for helmets

2. Impact Shorts

impact shorts

I only know of a few people who wear these, but there could be lots more seeing as you can’t really tell what they are wearing under their snow pants. Although I personally don’t wear them, I ride with some people who do, and on the icy days they can take hard hits, catch edges and eat it all over the mountain and get straight back up like it didn’t even happen. They are on my “to buy” list for my next trip.

Price: Starting at $50 to $150 Shop for Impact Shorts

3. Knee pads

knee pads

Another one that is good for those icy days, knee pads can save your knees on those times you fall on hardpack snow. I would suggest these are probably more useful for beginners, I remember when I was learning I caught and edge on a cat track and landed with all my weight on one knee. I only wish I had been wearing them then, I would have saved myself a season of knee pain.

Price: From $25+ Shop for knee pads

4. Wrist guards


These are quite debatable,  there are strong arguments for and against using them. As a beginner you are going to fall, and you are going to land on your wrists. After a while, you can teach yourself to punch the ground with your fist to break your fall,  which doesn’t hurt your wrists, but is counter-intuitive.

Wrist guards hold your wrist in a fixed position, and have a hard plastic section that absorbs the impact that your wrist was going to take. While learning, I did wear them for a while and I think the benefits of the confidence they gave me outweighed the actual benefits.

Another option is to have look at gloves that have the wristguards built in.

Price: $20+ Shop for wristguards

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